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As reported in General Counselor just recently, Illinois has now become the second state (Maryland was first), to prohibit employers from requesting that employees or prospective employees provide their “passwords or other related account information” to their social media accounts, such as Facebook.  On August 1, 2012, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law an amendment to Illinois’ Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, (829 ILCS 55/), providing for this prohibition, which is effective January 1, 2013.

Given this growing legislative trend, employers are well advised to take another look at their social media policies and their hiring and background check practices, to ensure they are compliant with their respective state law.  More legislative developments are expected as social media remains a hotly contested arena in the employment law context.

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