Sunday, August 2, 2015

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

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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.

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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