Legislature blocks employers from social media password

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OLYMPIA — The Washington Legislature wants to prevent employers from snooping in the social media accounts of workers.

State senators voted unanimously on Saturday to establish laws around the handling of social media in the workplace. The bill was a product of deliberations between lawmakers, business groups and civil liberties advocates.

Under the measure, employers would be barred from requesting social media passwords, from forcing workers to log in while in the employer’s presence or from using coercive friending. The bill does allow employers to investigate leaks of proprietary information or to comply with other laws.

The measure followed an Associated Press report from last year that documented how some employers around the country were asking applicants for their social media information.

The bill now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.

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