Employers are restricted from asking job applicants to give them any information about their personal social media accounts. They cannot ask an applicant to do any of the following:
- Give their username or password in order to gain access to the applicant’s personal social media
- Open their personal social media accounts in their employer’s presence
- Provide any personal social media information
Social media accounts could be Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. The law defines social media accounts as “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 services or account, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.”(
Lab. Code sec. 980(a))
These same restrictions also include current employees. If you are interviewing a current employee for a promotion or other position, you are prohibited from asking for or requiring the employee’s username or password to access their personal social media. An exception may apply for investigations and employer-issued electronic devices.
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against, disciplining, terminating or threaten to terminate an applicant or employee who has refused to provide the employer with their social media account information in violation of this law.
CLIA Lodging Members can call the FREE CLIA Helpline, 916.925.2915 with questions about this policy and others.