July 22, 2018

July 20, 2018

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Wisconsin Likely to Limit Access to Social Media Accounts

In late January, both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature passed the Social Media Protection Bill aimed at protecting individuals’ social media accounts. Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign the bill into law. The bill bars employers, schools, and landlords from requiring their employees, students, or tenants to produce their social media passwords. However, the bill allows employers, schools, and landlords to view individuals’ social media postings that are available to the public. Employers would also be permitted to monitor employee usage of devices provided by the employer.

Social Media

This development reflects the growing trend among the states to bar employers and schools from forcing individuals to produce their social media passwords (we've covered the issue in previous blog posts here and here). At present, 12 states limit employers’ access to employees’ social media accounts and 9 states limit schools’ access to students’ social media accounts. Employers and schools should keep an eye on their state legislatures as employee and student privacy rights are rapidly expanding.

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About this Author

Mark D. Scudder, Barnes Thornburg Law Firm, Labor Law attorney
Of Counsel

Mark D. Scudder is an of counsel member of Barnes & Thornburg LLP's Labor and Employment Law Department in the Fort Wayne, Indiana office. Mr. Scudder’s practice covers virtually all areas of labor and employment law, including litigation concerning discriminatory practices, worker’s compensation benefits, collective bargaining agreement administration, and grievance and arbitration proceedings. He has represented clients in state and federal courts at all stages of litigation, from pre-litigation counseling, alternative dispute resolution, trial and appeal. He has also represented...

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