Conditional veto of A-2878 balances employee privacy with realities of 21st century business practices.
TRENTON, N.J. – Citing the need to balance individuals’ privacy concerns with an employer’s need to hire appropriate personnel, manage its operations, and safeguard its business assets and proprietary information, Governor Christie conditionally vetoed A-2828, which would have prohibited employers from inquiring whether current or prospective employees have social media accounts.
“NJLRA is pleased that the Governor recognizes the realities of the 21st century marketplace,” said Marcus Rayner, executive director of the New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance.
“Both large companies and small businesses are increasingly utilizing social media tools like Facebook and Twitter in their marketing plans. Even though it was marketed as a simple protection of employees’ passwords and login credentials, parts of the bill went far beyond that, and would have prohibited employers from ascertaining qualifications of individuals who aspire to fulfill these roles. In addition, it would have created a potential litigation nightmare for employers.”
“We are hopeful that the legislature will adopt the Governor’s suggestions. The legislation would still prohibit employers from requesting employees’ usernames and passwords for social media sites and impose a fine for repeat offenders. It creates an appropriate level of enforcement without compromising employers’ ability to hire and retain qualified candidates.”
The legislation, A-2878, and conditional veto can be found online here.
Contact: AnnMarie McDonald
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