Protecting Privacy: New York State’s Social Media Access Law

In a world where digital presence is ubiquitous, protecting personal privacy in the workplace is paramount. Recognizing this, New York State has enacted a groundbreaking law aimed at safeguarding the privacy of employees and job applicants in the realm of social media.

As of March 12, 2024, employers in New York State are now prohibited from requesting access to an employee’s or job applicant’s social media accounts. This means employers cannot ask for usernames, passwords, or any other login information that would grant access to private social media accounts.

Moreover, individuals cannot be coerced into providing access to their social media accounts or sharing content from those accounts as a condition of employment or consideration for a job. This crucial provision ensures that individuals maintain control over their personal online presence and are not subjected to undue scrutiny or invasion of privacy by their employers.

Equally significant is the prohibition against employers penalizing or retaliating against employees or job applicants who refuse to share their social media account information. This protection ensures that individuals can assert their rights without fear of reprisal in the workplace.

However, the law does contain exceptions to accommodate legitimate employer interests. Employers are still permitted to access publicly shared content on social media platforms when investigating misconduct. Additionally, access is allowed in situations where there is a legal obligation, when employees use employer-provided social media accounts, or when access is restricted on employer-provided equipment.

Crucially, the law extends its coverage beyond traditional social media platforms to encompass any forum involving user-generated content. This includes blogs, video platforms, and other forms of user-shared media, reflecting the evolving nature of online communication and content creation.

For individuals who believe their rights under this law have been violated, legal recourse is available. Any non-compliance with the legislation on or after March 12, 2024, is actionable under state law. In such cases, seeking assistance from an employment law attorney is advisable to explore available options and remedies.

New York State’s social media access law represents a significant step forward in safeguarding privacy rights in the digital age. By establishing clear boundaries between personal and professional spheres, the law ensures fair treatment and respect for individuals’ privacy in the workplace. It sets a precedent for other jurisdictions to follow in prioritizing privacy and autonomy in an increasingly connected world.

NY Courts May Have to Redo Thousands of ForeclosureHearings Over Need for Appointed Counsel

By Brian Lee/

Thousands of foreclosure proceedings could potentially be headed for do-overs as a result of the court system settling a class-action lawsuit in which it acknowledges skipping a key initial process that mandates an assessment of homeowners’ eligibility for appointed counsel.

The New York court system recently resolved the class action by agreeing to comply with the state law, which mandates that parties in residential foreclosure cases participate in an initial settlement conference to discuss a resolution toward homeowner retention.

The assessment is required when the homeowner appears at the conference without an attorney.

Prior to Monday’s settlement, state courts routinely failed to make the assessment, plaintiffs counsel from the New York Civil Liberties Union, practitioner Yolande Nicholson, Mehri & Skalet, and Valli Kane & Vagnini said jointly.

The settlement could result in a restarting of the clock on an untold number of foreclosure proceedings.

It stipulates homeowners in active foreclosure proceedings are entitled to a redo of the conference if the case arose on or after Dec. 1, 2022, and they were unrepresented at their initial settlement conferences but didn’t receive an assessment.

The courts would then determine whether the homeowner should be appointed a lawyer.

A spokesperson for NYCLU told the Law Journal that, based on the Office of Court Administration’s 2023 reporting on foreclosures, more than 9,000 homeowners were unrepresented at their initial settlement conferences between October 2022 and October 2023. That means thousands of homeowners would possibly be entitled to do-over conferences.

Read the full article from here.