Bill Text: NJ A2878 | 2012-2013 | Regular Session | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Prohibits requirement to disclose user name, password, or other means for accessing account or service through electronic communications device by employers.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 14-2)

Status: (Passed) 2013-08-28 - Approved P.L.2013, c.155. [A2878 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2012-A2878-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 2878

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 10, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOHN J. BURZICHELLI

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

Assemblyman  LOUIS D. GREENWALD

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits requirement to disclose user name, password, or other means for accessing account or service through electronic communications device by employers.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act prohibiting the requirement to disclose personal information for certain electronic communications devices by employers.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    For purposes of this act:

     "Electronic communications device" means any device that uses electronic signals to create, transmit, and receive information, including a computer, telephone, personal digital assistant, or other similar device.

     "Employer" means an employer or employer's agent, representative, or designee.

     "Social networking website" means an Internet-based service that allows individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system created by the service, create a list of other users with whom they share a connection within the system, and view and navigate their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

 

     2.    No employer shall:

     a.     Require a current or prospective employee to provide or disclose any user name or password, or in any way provide the employer access to, a personal account or service through an electronic communications device; or

     b.    In any way inquire as to whether a current or prospective employee has an account or profile on a social networking website.

 

     3.    No employer shall require an individual to waive or limit any protection granted under this act as a condition of applying for or receiving an offer of employment. An agreement to waive any right or protection under this act is against the public policy of this State and is void and unenforceable.

 

     4.    No employer shall retaliate or discriminate against an individual because the individual has done or was about to do any of the following:

     a.     Refuse to provide or disclose any user name or password, or in any way provide access to, a personal account or service through an electronic communications device;

     b.    File a complaint under this act;

     c.     Testify, assist, or participate in an investigation, proceeding, or action concerning a violation of this act; or

     d.    Otherwise oppose a violation of this act.

 

     5.    Upon violation of any provision of this act, an aggrieved person may, in addition to any other available remedy, institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction, within one year from the date of the alleged violation. In response to the action, the court may, as it deems appropriate, order or award any one or more of the following:

     a.     With respect to a prospective employee:

     (1)   injunctive relief;

     (2)   compensatory and consequential damages incurred by the prospective employee as a result of the violation, taking into consideration any failure to hire in connection with the violation; and

     (3)   reasonable attorneys' fees and court costs.

     b.    With respect to a current or former employee:

     (1)   injunctive relief as it deems appropriate, including reinstatement of the employee to the same position held before the violation or the position the employee would have held but for the violation, as well as the reinstatement of full fringe benefits and seniority rights;

     (2)   compensatory and consequential damages incurred by the employee or former employee as a result of the violation, including compensation for lost wages, benefits and other remuneration; and

     (3)   reasonable attorneys' fees and court costs.

 

     6.    An employer who violates any provision of this act shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000 for the first violation and $2,500 for each subsequent violation, collectible by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development in a summary proceeding pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

 

     7.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill prohibits an employer from requiring a current or prospective employee to provide or disclose any user name or password, or in any way provide the employer access to, a personal account or service through an electronic communications device. An employer is also prohibited from asking a current or prospective employee if he has an account or profile on a social networking website.

     The bill prohibits an employer from requiring a prospective employee to waive or limit any protection granted under the bill as a condition of applying for or receiving an offer of employment. The bill also prohibits retaliation or discrimination against an individual because the individual has done or was about to do any of the following:

     (1)   refuse to provide or disclose any user name or password, or in any way provide the employer access to, a personal account or service through an electronic communications device;

     (2)   file a complaint pursuant to provisions of the bill;

     (3)   testify, assist, or participate in an investigation, proceeding, or action concerning a violation of the bill; or

     (4)   otherwise oppose a violation of the bill.

     Any current, prospective, or former employee aggrieved under the provisions of the bill may bring action in a court of competent jurisdiction for appropriate injunctive relief and damages, including reasonable attorneys' fees and court costs. In addition, the bill provides for the imposition of civil penalties in an amount not to exceed $1,000 for the first violation, or $2,500 for each subsequent violation, collectible by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.

     For purposes of the bill: "electronic communications device" means any device that uses electronic signals to create, transmit, and receive information, including a computer, telephone, personal digital assistant, or other similar device; "employer" means any employer or employer's agent, representative, or designee; and "social networking website" means an Internet-based service that allows individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system created by the service, create a list of other users with whom they share a connection within the system, and view and navigate their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

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