Federal Lawmakers Introduce Social Networking Online Protection Act

While some states are taking steps toward protecting workers against current or potential employers from snooping around in Facebook accounts, federal lawmakers are also pushing similar legislation. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois and and Rep. Eliot Engel, of New York, both Democrats, have introduced a new bill to Congress regarding the matter.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Social Networking Online Protection Act is authored by Engel and sponsored by Schakowsky, and would “prohibit current or potential employers from requiring a username, password or other access to online content. It does not permit employers to demand such access to discipline, discriminate or deny employment to individuals, nor punish them for refusing to volunteer the information.”

The act would also cover K-12 schools, colleges and universities.

A few weeks ago, Maryland became the first state to officially fight back with a law against the practice of asking for access to Facebook or other social networking while job candidates are on an interview, or already working for an employer.

Schakowsky moves to protect job seekers’ Facebook information [Chicago Tribune]