House Bill 2654 was heard this week in the Senate’s General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection Committee, chaired by Sen. Chip Shields (D-Portland). This bill prohibits employers from compelling access to employees’ personal social media accounts.
There have been reported cases in the national media of employers pressuring employees or job applicants to provide access to their social media accounts or to “friend” them as a condition of employment.
HB 2654, sponsored by several legislators, was drafted in an effort to add Oregon as the seventh state to prohibit such actions by employers.
During the Senate hearing, the committee raised concerns that had been voiced in the public hearing held in House committee. Those concerns included the impacts of this bill on employers and the ability for employers to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulatory requirements or prohibitions against work-related employee misconduct.
The bill does include language that would allow the employer to conduct appropriate oversight of employees to stay in compliance with state and federal labor laws.
If you have questions on this bill, contact Lori Sattenspiel, OSBA legislative specialist.