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Computer Use & Social Media

California passes legislation prohibiting employers from demanding access to personal social media accounts

Jurisdiction: - United States

California has passed legislation prohibiting employers from demanding access to employees' and job applicants' personal social media accounts. The text of the September 27, 2012 press release from the Govenor's office is as follows:

Governor Brown Signs Laws to Protect Privacy for Social Media Users

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today took to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace to announce that he has signed two bills that increase privacy protections for social media users in California.

Assembly Bill 1844 (Campos) and Senate Bill 1349 (Yee) prohibit universities and employers from requiring that applicants give up their email or social media account passwords.

"The Golden State is pioneering the social media revolution and these laws will protect all Californians from unwarranted invasions of their personal social media accounts," said Governor Brown.  read more »

Alberta arbitrator: derogatory/threatening Facebook postings about supervisors justified dismissal for cause

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

In Canada Post v. Canadian Union of Postal Workers, [2012] C.L.A.D. No. 85 (March 21, 2012 Ponak) an Alberta arbitrator ruled that employee's derogatory and threatening Facebook postings about her supervisors justified dismissal for cause.

The headnote of the decision summarizes it as follows:  read more »

Second social media report issued by US National Labour Relations Board's Acting General Counsel

Jurisdiction: - United States

Back in January 2012, the US National Labour Relations Board Acting General Counsel released a second report describing 14 social media cases reviewed by his office.

Here's the entire news release, with a link to the report (and the one that preceded it):

To help provide further guidance to practitioners and human resource professionals, NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon has released a second report describing social media cases reviewed by his office.

The Operations Management Memo covers 14 cases, half of which involve questions about employer social media policies. Five of those policies were found to be unlawfully broad, one was lawful, and one was found to be lawful after it was revised.  read more »

"10 Tips to Deal with Employee Discipline for Social Media Use"

Jack Graham and Lana Rafuse at McInnes Cooper have written a legal update for the law firm's newsletter titled, "10 Tips to Deal with Employee Discipline for Social Media Use" (March 1, 2012).

The tips are designed to assist employers in "drawing the line" on social media use and thus be in a position to discipline employees who go over the line. Taken directly from the article, their tips are:  read more »

"Is Excessive Internet Use Time Theft?"

"Is Excessive Internet Use Time Theft?" (May 16, 2012) is the subject of the latest HR Space bulletin from law firm Faskens. It was written by Hadiya J. Roderique.

The bulletin discusses a labour arbitration award and a decision of the Public Service Labour Relations Board, that were both issued in late 2011:

  1. Andrews v. Deputy Head (Department of Citizenship and Immigration)  2011 PSLRB 100  (August 2011); and
  2. Health Sciences Association of British Columbia v. Health Employers' Association of British Columbia  [2011] B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 125 (Glass)