Last year Assemblymember Campos authored AB 1844 which prohibits private employers from requiring that applicants or employees give up their email or social media account passwords. In signing AB 1844, Governor Brown stated that, “The Golden State is pioneering the social media revolution and these laws will protect all Californians from unwarranted invasions of their personal social media accounts.”
This session Assemblymember Campos has authored AB 25, which would extend the provisions of AB 1844 to the public sector. Specifically, AB 25 would amend Labor Code section 980 to define its coverage to include “the state, a city, a county, or a district.”
- I’m not sure that this bill is necessary. Public sector employees already have a constitutional right to privacy that is broader than that enjoyed by private sector employees. Unless there is some nexus to the job a public sector employer generally cannot take action against an employee for off-duty conduct. Moreover, all the horror stories I heard about employers asking for Facebook passwords involved private employers, not public sector ones. So I’m not sure that this bill solves a problem. Nevertheless, even if this bill passes it will practically have little effect since public employers generally can’t ask for this information anyway.