New legislation signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul requires employers to provide information on unemployment insurance when there are separations or when a reduction of hours results in unemployment eligibility.
Employers also are prohibited from requesting or requiring username, login information and/or passwords for social media accounts from job candidates or in a disciplinary action.
The law regarding unemployment is designed to ensure employees are aware of all benefits they may be eligible to receive.
“This legislation will codify and strengthen existing regulations to ensure that workers who are laid off or have their hours reduced have the knowledge and information they need to access unemployment insurance,” Sen. Shelley Mayer (D-Yonkers) said in a news release.
The state also doesn’t want employers using social media accounts as a condition of hiring or for disciplinary actions.
“Some employers make hiring and disciplinary decisions far beyond information that prospective and current employees share publicly,” Assemblymember Jeff Dinowitz (D-Bronx) said. “This includes requesting and demanding the username and password information for social media sites from their prospective and current employees, and the login information to email accounts and other extremely personal accounts.
“Requesting and demanding this information constitutes a serious invasion of privacy on behalf of the employer and may lead to issues of unfair and discriminatory hiring and admissions practices. Employees have the right to make this information either public or private. They should have every right to maintain this privacy when it comes to their workplace or during an interview or admissions process and should not have to submit to this request for fear they will lose their job or not be hired otherwise.”
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