CH. 28-56. Employee Social Media Privacy.
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|CH. 28-56. Employee Social Media Privacy.|
|Official Text||CH. 28-56. Employee Social Media Privacy.|
|State or Province||Rhode Island|
|Scope of the Law||General Business|
|Taxonomy||Decisional Interference, Increased Accessibility, Interrogation, Surveillance|
Text of the law
- TITLE 28
- Labor and Labor Relations
- CHAPTER 28-56
- Employee Social Media Privacy
- SECTION 28-56-1
- § 28-56-1. Definitions.
- For the purposes of this chapter:
- (1) "Social media account" means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online service or accounts, or internet website profiles or locations. For the purposes of this chapter, social media account does not include an account opened at an employer's behest, or provided by an employer, or intended to be used primarily on behalf of the employer.
- (2) "Applicant" means an applicant for employment.
- (3) "Employee" means an individual who provides services or labor for an employer for wages or other remuneration.
- (4) "Employer" includes the state, and all political subdivisions of the state, and any person in this state, employing individuals, and any person acting in the interest of an employer directly or indirectly.
- § 28-56-2. Social media password requests prohibited.
- No employer shall:
- (1) Require, coerce, or request an employee or applicant to disclose the password or any other means for accessing a personal social media account;
- (2) Require, coerce, or request an employee or applicant to access a personal social media account in the presence of the employer or representative;
- (3) Require or coerce an employee or applicant to divulge any personal social media account information, except when reasonably believed to be relevant to an investigation of allegations of employee misconduct or workplace-related violation of applicable laws and regulations and when not otherwise prohibited by law or constitution; provided that the information is accessed and used solely to the extent necessary for purposes of that investigation or a related proceeding. Interrogation, Decisional Interference
- § 28-56-3. Social media access requests prohibited.
- No employer shall compel an employee or applicant to add anyone, including the employer or their agent, to their list of contacts associated with a personal social media account or require, request, or cause an employee or applicant to alter settings that affect a third party's ability to view the contents of a personal social media account. Interrogation, Increased Accessibility, Decisional Interference
- § 28-56-4. Disciplinary actions prohibited.
- No employer shall:
- (1) Discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize or threaten to discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize any employee for an employee's refusal to disclose or provide access to any information specified in § 28-56-2, or for refusal to add the employer to his or her list of contacts associated with a personal social media account, or to alter the settings associated with a personal social media account, as specified in § 28-56-3; or
- (2) Fail or refuse to hire any applicant as a result of the applicant's refusal to disclose or provide access to any information specified in § 28-56-2, or for refusal to add the employer or their agent to their list of contacts associated with a personal social media account, or to alter the settings associated with a personal social media account, as specified in § 28-56-3. Interrogation, Decisional Interference
- § 28-56-5. Exceptions.
- (a) This chapter shall not apply to information about an applicant or employee that is publicly available.
- (b) This chapter shall not prohibit or restrict an employer from complying with a duty to screen employees or applicants before hiring or to monitor or retain employee communications that is established by a self-regulatory organization as defined by the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78c(a)(26) or under state or federal law or regulation to the extent necessary to supervise communications of regulated financial institutions insurance or securities licensees for banking insurance or securities related business purposes. Surveillance
- § 28-56-6. Penalties for violations.
- In any civil action alleging a violation of this chapter, the court may:
- (1) Award to a prevailing applicant or employee declaratory relief, damages and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs; and
- (2) Award injunctive relief against any employer or agent of any employer that or who commits or proposes to commit a violation of this chapter.
- History of Section.
- (P.L. 2014, ch. 188, § 3; P.L. 2014, ch. 207, § 3.)
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