New York restricts employers from accessing employee social media

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Employers in New York are now prohibited from gaining access to the personal social media profiles of both current and potential employees after the approval of Assembly Bill (A) 00836 and Senate Bill (S) 02518A, effective March 12, 2024, as reported by Ogletree.


Bill S2518/A836 bars employers from demanding or compelling employees to provide usernames, login details, passwords, or personal account access as terms for employment, during hiring, or for disciplinary purposes. 


The legislation signed into law on September 14, 2023 by the Governor of New York State aligns with similar regulations in various other regions and introduces Section 201-i of the New York Labor Law.


Prohibitions under the Bill:

  • Requesting or coercing employees or job applicants to reveal their login credentials (username, password, or other log-in information) for personal accounts accessed via electronic communication devices.
  • Demanding employees to log into their personal accounts in the presence of the employer.
  • Mandating the reproduction of content from personal accounts using means prohibited by the law.
  • Firing, disciplining, or taking any negative action against an employee or job applicant, as well as threatening to do so, simply because the individual refuses to disclose this protected information.


  • There’s a provision allowing employers to request login details for accounts provided by the employer for business use, provided employees are informed of this right.
  • Additionally, employers can request access to electronic communication devices they’ve partially or fully funded, with conditions explicitly stated beforehand, but this does not extend to accessing personal accounts on such devices.
  • Employers can view publicly available information about employees or job applicants without needing login details and can also access social media content shared voluntarily for reporting misconduct as well as access an account as required by a court order.
  • Employers would also have the ability to limit access to specific websites when using an employer’s network.

Aspects to be Considered:

  • Employers should consider reassessing their employment policies and hiring procedures in response to the limitations imposed by the new law. 
  • Employers should also contemplate updating their social media policies for employees to comply with the restrictions on accessing personal accounts. 
  • Employers should also aim to guarantee that employees are appropriately informed about accessing “nonpersonal” or company accounts, as well as devices funded by the company.
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