As of March 12, 2024, New York employers are prohibited from requesting or obtaining access to the personal social media accounts of employees and applicants. Specifically, employers are not permitted to require employees or applicants to: (i) disclose their user names, passwords, or log-in information, (ii) access personal accounts in the presence of the employer; or (iii) reproduce any posts, including photos and videos, from personal accounts. In addition, employers may not discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize an employee or applicant because of their refusal to disclose such information. 

The law does not apply to accounts used for business purposes, employer accounts accessed on devices provided by the employer, requests made pursuant to a court order, or employer restrictions on employee access to certain websites. In addition, the law does not prohibit employers from viewing or accessing information that is publicly available on social media or voluntarily shared with an employer in connection with an investigation of misconduct. The provisions of this law shall not apply to any law enforcement agency, fire department or department of corrections, and community supervision.

If employers have not already, they should review their hiring processes and social media policies to ensure compliance with this new law.