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Oklahoma: Employers Cannot Require Employees to Give Up Personal Social Media Log-Ins and Passwords

You may not be aware of it, but it is against the law for your employer to request or require you to give them your personal social media log-ins and passwords in Oklahoma now. Employers scanning through prospective and current employee social media accounts to find out what they did outside of work became a hot topic in the news not long ago. Most people felt this practice was an invasion of personal privacy.

On November 1, 2014, Governor Mary Fallin put a stop to this practice when she signed H.B. 2372. The bill outlined exactly what employers can and cannot do regarding employees and their personal accounts, adding a whole new topic of litigation in employment law for the Oklahoma court system.

In H.B. 2372, Personal Online Social Media Includes:

  • Email;
  • Audio recordings;
  • Instant messages;
  • Blogs or video blogs (vlogs);
  • Still photographs; and
  • Videos.

H.B. 2372 Prohibits Oklahoma Employers From:

  • Requiring employees and prospective employees to:
    • disclose log-in data for personal online social media accounts or
    • open their personal online social media accounts in front of the employer in order for employer to observe.
  • Acting in a retaliatory manner that negatively or materially affects the employee's employment if said employee refuses to provide usernames and passwords to online social media accounts.
  • Refusing to hire prospective employee solely because the employee would not provide usernames and passwords to online social media accounts.

What The Bill Does Not Prohibit Employers From:

  • Requiring or requesting an employee to disclose username or password in order to access any computer system, IT network or electronic communications device provided by the employer, as well as accounts or services provided by the employer.
  • Receiving the employee's log in information through the use of employer-provided devices or network monitoring programs, as long as the employer does not access the employee's social media accounts online.
  • Conducting investigations to ensure compliance of applicable laws regarding employee misconduct based on potential activity on personal online social media accounts or services.

Contact A Legal Representative

If an employer violates H.B. 2372, they may face civil action in which an employee may seek injunctive relief, as well as damages of up to $500. If an employer or prospective employer has asked or demanded your username and password for your personal social media accounts, contact Frasier, Frasier & Hickman, LLP for a free consultation. We have helped numerous clients win employment-related cases in court and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve, as well. Call our office today at 918-779-3658.

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