Senate Bill SB 198 entitled “An Act Relating to Social Media Privacy,” has died in committee, according to the National Law Review. The Act would have prohibited employers from requesting or requiring access to a social media account of an employee or prospective employee. The Act would also have prohibited employers from taking retaliatory personnel action for an employee’s failure to provide access to his or her social media account and also made it unlawful for an employer from failing or refusing to hire a prospective employee who does not provide access to his or her social media account. The Act authorized civil actions for violations, including an award of of attorney fees and court costs.
The Florida legislature considered joining numerous other states which have banned employers from requesting or requiring access to current or prospective employees’ social media accounts. Since the bill has died in committee, Florida will not be joining the other states which have already enacted similar laws at this time. Those states include Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington, California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, and New Jersey. The National Law Review believes it is unclear whether a new bill will be proposed, and as of now, the efforts to prohibit such employer activity in Florida this year have failed.
Here is a link to the proposed bill. I previously summarized Maryland’s social media privacy bill, which prohibits employers from requesting or requiring access to current or prospective employees’ social media account.