Metro

N.H. bills would safeguard workers’ social media date from employers

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire is considering joining a handful of states that bar employers from asking job appli­cants and employees for their social media user names and passwords.

The House Labor Committee is holding a hearing on two similar bills Tuesday that would prohibit an employer from requir­ing the disclosure.

Maryland, California, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, and Illinois have similar laws barring employers, academic institutions, or both; and two dozen states besides New Hampshire are considering legislation, says the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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In their effort to vet job appli­cants, some companies and government agencies have started asking for passwords to log into a prospective employee’s accounts on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

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Critics call it an invasion of privacy akin to handing over the keys to the person’s house.

State Senator Donna Soucy, a cosponsor of both New Hampshire bills, said employers can gain access to information about an employee or job applicant through social media accounts like ­Facebook that they otherwise could not legally obtain. She said employers can use infor­mation on social media ­accounts to discriminate.