Bill Summary for H 846 (2013-2014)

Summary date: 

May 16 2013

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2013-2014 Session
House Bill 846 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 10, 2013
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO ENACT THE JOB AND EDUCATION PRIVACY ACT TO PREVENT EMPLOYERS AND COLLEGES FROM REQUIRING INDIVIDUALS TO DISCLOSE ACCESS INFORMATION FOR SOCIAL MEDIA AND PERSONAL ELECTRONIC MAIL ACCOUNTS.
Intro. by D. Hall, Saine.

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Bill summary

Houseamendments make the following changes to the 2nd edition, as amended.

Amendment #2 rewritesnew GS 99F-5 to specify that an employer is prohibited from requiring or requesting an employee or an applicant to disclose the employee's username and password or a password that allows the employer to access the employee's or applicant's personal Internet account (was, prohibited an employer fromrequiring or requesting that an employee or an applicant provide access or information to access the employee's or applicant'spersonal electronic account). Clarifies that an employer is prohibited from compelling (was, either requesting or requiring) an employee or applicant to add the employer or the employer's representative to the applicant or employee's personal social networking account.Deletes provision that prohibits an employer from accessing an employee's or applicant's social networking account indirectly through any other person who is a social networking contact of the employee or applicant.

Deletes three exceptions to the Chapter listed in GS 99F-8, which provided that the Chapter does not prohibit an employer from requiring an employee to disclose any name, password, or other means for accessing specified accounts or services; limit rights concerning workplace policies on the use of electronic equipment; and prevent compliance with state a federal rules or regulations

Enacts new GS 99F-9 to identify five actions by employers that are not prohibited under proposed new GS Chapter 99F, Job and Education Privacy Act. Among the permitted actions by an employer are requesting or requiring an employee to disclose a username or password for the limited purpose of gaining access to (1) an electronic communications device supplied or paid for by the employer, or (2) an account or service provided by the employer, obtained by virtue of the employee's employment relationship with the employer, or used for the employer's business purposes. Also provides that this Chapter does not prohibit an employer from conducting an investigation or requiring an employee to cooperate in an investigation, including requiring an employee to share the content that has been reported in order to make a factual determination about the nature of the content.

Enacts GS 99F-10 to declare that this Chapter does not create a duty for an employer to search or monitor the activity of an employee's personal Internet account. Also exempts an employer from liability under this Chapter for failing to request or inquire that an job applicant or an employee allow access to or observation of an employee's or applicant's personal Internet account.

Enacts GS 99F-11 to provide that the state Attorney General may bring a civil cause of action against an employer on behalf of a citizen aggrieved by a violation of this Chapter.Provides that if the court finds a violation of this Chapter, the amount of the award is limited to not more than $500 per violation.

Amendment #3 changes the effective date of this act to October 1, 2013 (was, when the act becomes law).

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