It’s Personal

by Deborah Z Mark



DOL, EEOC, ICE, OSHA, ADA. Here’s another acronym to add to the alphabet soup of HR compliance: SNOPA.

SNOPA stands for Social Networking Online Protection Act, introduced in April by House Representative Eliot Engle (D – NY). It is still pending.


Under SNOPA, employers would not be allowed to require or request an employee (or applicant for employment) to provide the employer with a personal username, password or other means to access private email or other accounts on social networking sites.

The bill would also make it unlawful for employers to bring any disciplinary action against or deny employment or promotion to any employee or applicant refusing to provide such information.

In addition, the bill would prohibit any retaliation by the employer toward employees or applicants who file any legal complaints under this law or testify in court against the employer.


The DOL could assess civil penalties of up to $10,000 against any employer in violation.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce is currently deciding whether to send the proposed bill to the full House or Senate.

Remember to proceed with caution when considering whether or not to request an employee’s personal information. In most instances it’s better not to ask.

If you believe such information is necessary for your particular business, consider checking with legal counsel before proceeding.

In some cases, it’s OK to be antisocial.

Have questions regarding your employees?  Call managestaff.  We’ll provide answers.


It’s what we do.


Image: Stuart Miles/