New law to limit employer access to employee social media

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Ifyou're on social media, are you connected with your boss?{} A new law set to go into effect in Arkansaswill limit that - making it essentially illegal for your employer or potentialemployer to request you as a "friend" on Facebook or other social mediasites.{} The intent of the law is toprotect privacy, but does it go too far?

Many employers are askingfor access to their employees or prospective employees social mediaaccounts.{} Act 1480 will make thatillegal come April 15th.

Most people agree that askingfor login information to one's personal social media accounts appears to be aninvasion of privacy.

"I mean what's next, youhave to give your employer your bank account information too," asked RogerSnook, while perusing his LinkedIn account at Community Bakery in downtownLittle Rock.

But even though most agreethat sharing login information is overreaching, several lawyers representingseveral employers went before the Arkansas Labor Board on Thursday, arguing Act1480 hinders a company's ability to do a thorough background check.

"Someone's social mediaactivity can be a very important, very useful tool in vetting a potential staffmember to make sure they're an appropriate person to be in charge with childcare," said Wayne Young, of Eldrige & Clark, LLC.

Young mentions other linesof work as well, but the law doesn't prohibit an employer from snooping on openaccounts without privacy settings.{}

Where the law gains themost flack is where it states, "An employer shall not require, request, suggestof cause a current or prospective employee," from adding them on socialmedia.{}

"Anybody can be aperspective employee," said a lawyer representing the Arkansas Society forHuman Resource Management.

Lawyers want the languageof the law cleared up.

Most people don't seem tohave a problem with being friends with their employer, but most say they willprobably place them on a limited access account.{} And interesting enough, the law still allowsan employee to connect with their boss on social media - just not viceversa.{}

No word on what thepenalty will be if you do break the law.