Legislators pass bill to bar employers from demanding social media access

Legislation that would bar employers and schools from demanding access to social media, personal email and other online accounts received final legislative approval Tuesday.

In an 88-0 vote, the Louisiana House shipped House Bill 340 to the governor’s desk, following minor changes from the Senate.

The bill, also known as the Personal Online Account Privacy Protection Act and sponsored by state Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, would prohibit employers from demanding online account access as a condition of employment, both before and after someone is hired. Similarly, universities and colleges, academies, elementary and secondary schools and other educational institutions could not discipline students who don’t provide access to online accounts.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, state lawmakers across the country started introducing similar legislation in 2012.

Louisiana’s HB340 was among several being weighed in more than two dozen state Capitols this year.

The bill doesn’t cover official business accounts or accounts created as a part of official work or school duties.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter @elizabethcrisp.