Social media’s surge in popularity has caused a sea change in how people act and behave, as well as the image they portray, whether intentionally or not. It didn’t take long for employers to recognize social media as a useful tool to learn more about potential new hires.
As the use of social media expanded across all demographics, controversy and debate erupted when employers started asking potential job candidates for passwords to their social media accounts. Unsurprisingly, the outrage and indignation surrounding this practice were so strong that it was only a matter of time before legislatures took aim at this practice. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 28 states have passed or are considering passing laws aimed at prohibiting employers from requiring employers and job applicants to disclose social media passwords and other password-protected social media information. In June, Rhode Island joined those growing ranks by enacting a social media privacy law that impacts all employers.
To gain a better understanding as to what employers are prohibited from doing under the new law and what the exceptions to the law are, as well as how the law broadly defines “employers,” click here to read a recently published column in Providence Business News by Attorney Brian Lamoureux, who has written extensively on this topic and is considered a national authority on social media and the law issues. For more information on the new law, contact Attorney Lamoureux at or email We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.