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New York strengthens employee privacy with social media protection amendment

A significant amendment to the New York Labor Law, effective from March 12, has introduced measures to safeguard employees’ social media privacy. The revision explicitly bars employers from demanding login details to workers’ personal social media accounts, addressing growing concerns over privacy in the digital age. Legal firm Tully Rinckey PLLC highlighted that this law aims to prevent any retaliatory actions against employees or candidates who refuse to share their social media credentials.

The law positions New York alongside over 20 states, including California and New Jersey, in protecting digital privacy rights at the workplace. It allows for certain exceptions, such as employer access to devices partly funded by the company, provided that employees are informed beforehand. This amendment underscores the importance of understanding the boundaries between professional and personal digital spaces.

Tully Rinckey’s Jared Cook advises employers to familiarize themselves with this amendment and adjust their practices accordingly. The law maintains that while employers can view publicly available social media content, they cannot penalize individuals for keeping their private social media information confidential. This development is a crucial step toward respecting individual privacy rights and fostering a balanced employer-employee relationship in New York.