New rules protect employees’ social media

An increasing number of employers are seeking to gain access to their employees’ social media accounts in order to track how they represent the company on said sites. For some employees, this has led to disciplinary action and even termination. Some employees have fought back after such actions were taken, under the guise that what a person says on one’s personal social media page is his or her opinion and protected. Several states have already put social media protections in place for employees, and now Nevada is also in the ranks of states protecting employee rights with respect to social media.

The law states that an employer cannot force an employee to give him or her access to social media information. An employer cannot demand an employee provide passwords to social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Also, an employer cannot threaten to discipline, fire or otherwise intimidate an employee who is asked to provide this information and declines to do so.

The Nevada law doesn’t pack quite as much bite as say, California’s law, which protects employee’s social media rights wherever social media is used, but it will go a long way to stave off employers who want to use social media to monitor their employees.

If you as an employee are facing such a situation, regardless of your home state, you may want to seek the advice of a legal professional. An expert can help protect your rights and possibly preserve your job as well as your right to say what your feel, in certain contexts, without repercussions.

Mondaq, “United States: New Nevada Employment Law Developments Affect Social Media, Overtime” Roger L. Grandgenett II, Rick D. Roskelley, Dustin L. Clark and Kristina Escamilla Gilmore, Littler , Aug. 28, 2013

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