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Hawaii expands privacy protections for employees' personal accounts

07/01/21

Author: ADP Admin/Monday, June 28, 2021/Categories: Compliance Corner , State Compliance Update, Hawaii

Hawaii has enacted legislation (House Bill 125) that generally prohibits employers from asking or requiring employees to disclose the login information to their personal online accounts, such as social media. House Bill 125 is effective immediately.

Employer Restrictions:

Under House Bill 125, employers are prohibited from requiring, coercing, or requesting that an employee:

  • Disclose the login information for a protected personal online account;
  • Disclose the content of the account;
  • Alter the settings of the account in a manner that makes the login information for, or content of, the account more accessible to others;
  • Access the account in the presence of the employer in a manner that enables the employer to observe the login information for, or content of, the account; or
  • Turn over to the employer an unlocked personal electronic device for purposes of gaining access to a protected personal online account.

Protected Personal Accounts:

The law defines protected personal online account as any online account maintained by an employee, including social media or e-mail accounts, that is protected by a login requirement. It doesn't include an account that was opened at an employer's request, or provided by an employer and intended to be used solely or primarily on behalf of or under the direction of the employer.

Exceptions:

Without coercion and pursuant to a clear statement that acceptance is voluntary and not required, an employer may request an employee to add the employer to, or to not remove the employer from, the set of individuals to which the employee grants access to the content. The law also doesn't prevent an employer from:

  • Accessing information about an employee that is available to the general public;
  • Complying with a federal or state law, court order, or rule of a self-regulatory organization;
  • Implementing and enforcing a policy pertaining to the use of an employer-issued electronic communications device or the use of an employee-owned electronic communications device that will be used for business purposes; or
  • Without requesting or requiring an employee to provide login information or authentication that provides access to the employee's protected personal account, requesting or requiring an employee to share specifically identified content for the purpose of:

Compliance Recommendations:

Hawaii employers should review policies, practices, and supervisor training to ensure compliance with House Bill 125. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.

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