With some restrictions, the changes do not limit an employer's right to monitor an employee's use of its email accounts and electronic devices.
The Act already prevented employers from requesting employees' and applicants' social media passwords on networking websites. The Act now extends employees' and applicants' privacy protection beyond passwords to usernames and personal online accounts, and adds retaliation provisions. The Act now prohibits employers from:
- Asking, requiring or coercing employees or applicants to provide passwords or other related account information for accessing their personal online accounts.
- Demanding access to employees' and applicant's personal online accounts.
- Asking, requiring or coercing employees and applicants to authenticate or access their personal online accounts in an employer's presence.
- Requiring or coercing employees and applicants to invite employers to join groups affiliated with their personal online accounts.
- Requiring or coercing employees and applicants to join employers' online accounts or add employers or employment agencies to contact lists for their personal online accounts.
- Retaliating against an employee or applicant for refusing any of the above activities.
In the event of inadvertent disclosures, an employer is not liable for having this information, unless the employer uses the information or enables a third party to use the information.