Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Councilman wants to end employer requests for social media passwords

City Councilman Bill Greenlee is joining the bandwagon of legislators who say employers should butt out of employees' personal lives.

Councilman wants to end employer requests for social media passwords

Philadelphia Councilman Bill Greenlee.
Philadelphia Councilman Bill Greenlee.

Has an employer ever asked for your Facebook or Twitter password?

Well doing so is illegal in at least two states: California and Illinois. Now City Councilman Bill Greenlee is joining the bandwagon of legislators who say employers should butt out of employees’ personal lives.

“They shouldn’t be forced to give up their social media account where employers or prospective employers can look into what really is their private business which might divulge their political beliefs, their religious beliefs, their sexual orientation, that kind of thing. And that shouldn’t really be the employers business to know,” Greenlee said.

Greenlee introduced a bill Thursday that would prohibit employers from asking for passwords to social media accounts. He said he heard of job seekers that had been asked to handover their passwords, but it wasn’t clear if the matter was a problem here in Philadelphia.

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“I can’t give you a specific example, but I know it has happened,” said Greenlee. “We have heard from people who complained about this.”

Should the bill pass it would be up to the Nutter administration to establish an agency (or assign the function to an existing one) and procedure to take complaints, Greenlee said.

Meanwhile, a bill sponsored by Greenlee on behalf of the administration that would regulate horses on private property was unanimously approved by Council.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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