CT State Updates - 2015 Jan 02 No.02

On May 19, 2015, Gov. Malloy signed SB 426 into law, creating Public Act No. 15-6. The law limits employer access to employee social media, email and other online accounts. The law prohibits employers from requesting or requiring an employee or job applicant to 1) provide the employer with a user name, password or other way to access the employee's or applicant's personal online account 2) authenticate or access such an account in front of the employer; or 3) invite, or accept an invitation from, the employer to join a group affiliated with such an account. Employers are prohibited from firing, disciplining or otherwise retaliating against an employee who 1) refuses to provide this access or b) files a complaint with a public or private body or court about the employer's request for access or retaliation for refusing such access. Employers may not refuse to hire an applicant because the applicant would not provide access to his or her personal online account. ‘Personal online account’ is defined as any online account an employee or applicant uses solely for personal purposes, including, but not limited to email, social media and retail-based web sites.

Employees and applicants are permitted to file a complaint with the Connecticut Labor Commissioner, who can impose civil penalties of up to $25 for initial violations against job applicants and $500 for initial violations against employees. Penalties for subsequent violations can be up to $500 for violations against applicants and up to $1,000 for violations against employees.

The new law is effective Oct. 1, 2015.

Public Act No. 15-6 »