'Social media bill' passes the Oregon Senate

'Social media bill' passes the Oregon Senate

SALEM, Ore. – State senators on Tuesday passed a bill that would prohibit businesses from demanding access to a prospective employer's social media accounts.

House Bill 2654B passed the Oregon Senate by a 28-1 vote with one excused vote.

An earlier version of the bill passed the House last month, but since the Senate made changes to the bill, it must go back to the House for another vote.

If made law, the bill would prevent businesses from demanding passwords to Twitter and Facebook as a condition of employment.

In April, the Senate passed a similar bill concerning colleges students that bans universities from forcing students to share private information from their social media accounts.

Legal experts say gaining access to someone's Facebook or other social media accounts could reveal chronic health conditions, disability, pregnancy, faith, political views, or sexual orientation, which employers are generally not allowed to ask about.

And what about gaining access to your activities or habits? Employers in Illinois have been sued for discriminating against applicants and employees for their use of lawful products, like cigarettes or alcohol.

Maryland is the only state so far that bans employers from asking applicants for their social media logins. But whatever an employer finds out there in the public domain is fair game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.