Tuesday, 03 June 2014 23:15

Wisconsin Social Media Protection Act Signed By Governor

Wisconsin has joined the ever-increasing number of states legislating against employers’ access to employees’ and applicants’ social media sites. On Tuesday, April 8, 2014, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed the Wisconsin Social Media Protection Act, 2013 Wisconsin Act 208 (the “Act”), into law, which prohibits both public and private employers, regardless of size, from requesting or requiring employees or applicants to provide their information to their personal internet accounts. The Act applies similarly to landlords with respect to tenants and prospective tenants and to educational institutions with regard to students and prospective students. Employers will want to ensure that their policies and procedures do not run afoul of this new law, which authorizes a $1,000 penalty for violating its prohibitions in addition to other remedies. The Act became effective on April 10, 2014. The Act prohibits employers from requesting or requiring that an employee or applicant disclose access information for the employee’s or applicant’s personal internet account or otherwise grant access to that account (i.e., “shoulder-surfing”).