SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – A bill in the California Assembly to ban employers from demanding access to a job applicant’s social media accounts has cleared a key committee, with little opposition expected when it goes for a vote.

California is among eight states considering laws to prevent companies from snooping on employees or prospective employees by logging onto their accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The bill by San Jose Assemblywoman Nora Campos to protect user names and passwords was approved unanimously by the Assembly Labor Committee on Wednesday. No major California business group has come out against the Campos legislation, nor has Gov. Jerry Brown taken a position on it.

Companies would still be allowed to search publicly available social media pages, although many employers have policies against this to avoid inadvertently collecting information such as sexual orientation that existing discrimination laws prevent them from asking about during a job interview.

Facebook recently warned employers they could face legal liabilities if they demand job applicants’ passwords, a practice the company says violates its terms of use.

States began crafting so-called Facebook laws after a Maryland prison guard, Robert Collins, complained to the American Civil Liberties Union that his employer insisted on accessing his Facebook account.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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