With the passage of A2878 in the New Jersey General Assembly in March, New Jersey is poised to become the eighth state to “pass legislation preventing employers from asking prospective and current employers for passwords to their accounts on social media sites.” The proposed law, which is now being considered by Governor Chris Christie, would become the most restrictive social media legislation in the United States.

A2878 would be the first social media law to prohibit employers from even inquiring whether employees or job applicants have personal social media accounts. Any employer who violates this prohibition could be subject to a private lawsuit by the applicant or employee. Additionally, employers may face other civil penalties of up to $1000 for the first instance and up to $2500 for each additional violation. Under the terms of the proposed law, neither of these penalties can be waived.

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