LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - If
you're on social media, are you connected with your boss? A new law set to go into effect in Arkansas
will limit that – making it essentially illegal for your employer or potential
employer to request you as a "friend" on Facebook or other social media
sites. The intent of the law is to
protect privacy, but does it go too far?
Many employers are asking
for access to their employees or prospective employees social media
accounts. Act 1480 will make that
illegal come April 15th.
Most people agree that asking
for login information to one's personal social media accounts appears to be an
invasion of privacy.
"I mean what's next, you
have to give your employer your bank account information too," asked Roger
Snook, while perusing his LinkedIn account at Community Bakery in downtown
But even though most agree
that sharing login information is overreaching, several lawyers representing
several employers went before the Arkansas Labor Board on Thursday, arguing Act
1480 hinders a company's ability to do a thorough background check.
"Someone's social media
activity can be a very important, very useful tool in vetting a potential staff
member to make sure they're an appropriate person to be in charge with child
care," said Wayne Young, of Eldrige & Clark, LLC.
Young mentions other lines
of work as well, but the law doesn't prohibit an employer from snooping on open
accounts without privacy settings.
Where the law gains the
most flack is where it states, "An employer shall not require, request, suggest
of cause a current or prospective employee," from adding them on social
"Anybody can be a
perspective employee," said a lawyer representing the Arkansas Society for
Human Resource Management.
Lawyers want the language
of the law cleared up.
Most people don't seem to
have a problem with being friends with their employer, but most say they will
probably place them on a limited access account. And interesting enough, the law still allows
an employee to connect with their boss on social media – just not vice
No word on what the
penalty will be if you do break the law.