Michigan has joined 12 other states in enacting “social media password protection” laws. While varying widely in the restrictions imposed and in their complexity, these laws share a common thread; they all prohibit employers from asking applicants for their user name, password or other log-in credentials for their personal social media accounts. Most of these states, including Michigan impose the same prohibition with respect to employees, i.e., you cannot ask to explore your employee’s social media accounts.
We expect continuing development in this area of the law, but currently, if you are an employer, DO NOT REQUEST social media access from applicants or employees.
Another rapidly developing area of employment law has to do with the CREDIT HISTORY of job applicants. 35 states, including Michigan, currently have laws PROPOSED to prohibit employers form procuring credit information on applicants and employees unless the “information is substantially job-related”. This past December, federal legislation has been introduced restricting this information for employment purposes which, if passed will exceed any existing state law in their restrictive provisions. Stay tuned on this one.
Finally, as an employer you are no doubt (and if there is doubt you should be) aware that the Fair Credit Reporting Act imposes strict requirement on applicant/employee background checks dealing with credit histories. If you need help in these areas, feel free to call us.