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Chapter 21     Entire Code
‹ Chapter 20A  |  Chapter 21A › Printer Friendly Versions
Chapter 21  |  Article 21 - 5H
WVC 21 - CHAPTER 21. LABOR.
WVC 21-5H- ARTICLE 5H. EMPLOYEE PERSONAL SOCIAL MEDIA.

WVC 21-5H-1

§21-5H-1. Employer access to employee or potential employee personal accounts prohibited.

(a) An employer shall not do any of the following:

(1) Request, require or coerce an employee or a potential employee to disclose a username and password, password or any other authentication information that allows access to the employee or potential employee's personal account;

(2) Request, require or coerce an employee or a potential employee to access the employee or the potential employee’s personal account in the presence of the employer; or

(3) Compel an employee or potential employee to add the employer or an employment agency to their list of contacts that enable the contacts to access a personal account.

(b) Nothing in this section prevents an employer from:

(1) Accessing information about an employee or potential employee that is publicly available;

(2) Complying with applicable laws, rules or regulations;

(3) Requiring an employee to disclose a username or password or similar authentication information for the purpose of accessing:

(A) An employer-issued electronic device; or

(B) An account or service provided by the employer, obtained by virtue of the employee's employment relationship with the employer, or used for the employer's business purposes;

(4) Conducting an investigation or requiring an employee to cooperate in an investigation. The employer may require an employee to share the content that has been reported to make a factual determination, if the employer has specific information about an unauthorized transfer of the employer's proprietary information, confidential information or financial data, to an employee's personal account;

(5) Prohibiting an employee or potential employee from using a personal account during employment hours, while on employer time or for business purposes; or

(6) Requesting an employee to share specific content regarding a personal account for the purposes of ensuring compliance with applicable laws, regulatory requirements or prohibitions against work-related employee misconduct.

(c) If an employer inadvertently receives the username, password or any other authentication information that would enable the employer to gain access to the employee or potential employee's personal account through the use of an otherwise lawful technology that monitors the employer's network or employer-provided electronic devices for network security or data confidentiality purposes, then the employer is not liable for having that information, unless the employer:

(1) Uses that information, or enables a third party to use that information, to access the employee or potential employee's personal account;

(2) After the employer becomes aware that that information was received, does not delete the information as soon as is reasonably practicable, unless that information is being retained by the employer in connection with an ongoing investigation of an actual or suspected breach of the computer, network or data security.  Where an employer knows or, through reasonable efforts, should be aware that its network monitoring technology is likely inadvertently to receive such information, the employer shall make reasonable efforts to secure that information.

(d) Nothing in this section diminishes the authority and obligation of an employer to investigate complaints, allegations or the occurrence of sexual, racial, or other harassment as provided in this code.

(e) As used in this section, "personal account" means an account, service or profile on a social networking website that is used by an employee or potential employee exclusively for personal communications unrelated to any business purposes of the employer.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
The West Virginia Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.


Recent legislation affecting the Code

Citation Year/Session Short Title
§21 - 5 - 14 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 5 - 15 - (Amended Code)
SENATE BILL - 224
PASSED - Regular Session

SB224 SUB1 enr  (Uploaded - 10/06/2017)
Repealing requirement for employer's bond for wages and benefits
§21 - 3 - 7 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 3 C- 11 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 3 D- 8 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 5 - 5 C - (Amended Code)
§21 - 9 - 9 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 10 - 4 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 11 - 17 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 14 - 9 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 15 - 7 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 16 - 10 - (Amended Code)
SENATE BILL - 419
PASSED - Regular Session

SB419 SUB1 enr  (Uploaded - 10/02/2017)
Creating special revenue fund sources for Division of Labor to meet statutory obligations
§21 - 5 F- 4 - (Amended Code)
HOUSE BILL - 2459
PASSED - Regular Session

HB2459 SUB ENR  (Uploaded - 10/06/2017)
Relating to regulation of health care and the certificate of need process
§21 - 3 E- 1 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 2 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 3 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 4 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 5 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 6 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 7 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 8 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 9 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 10 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 11 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 12 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 13 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 14 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 15 - (New Code)
§21 - 3 E- 16 - (New Code)
HOUSE BILL - 2857
PASSED - Regular Session

HB2857 SUB ENR  (Uploaded - 10/06/2017)
West Virginia Safer Workplaces Act
§21 - 1 D- 5 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 11 - 11 - (Amended Code)
HOUSE BILL - 2897
PASSED - Regular Session

HB2897 SUB ENR  (Uploaded - 10/06/2017)
Raising the amount required for competitive bidding of construction contracts by the state and its subdivisions
§21 - 10 - 7 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 12 - 7 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 15 - 10 - (Amended Code)
HOUSE BILL - 2948
PASSED - Regular Session

HB2948 SUB ENR  (Uploaded - 10/06/2017)
Establishing timelines for taking final action on certain permits
§21 - 1 C- 2 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 1 C- 4 - (Amended Code)
§21 - 1 C- 6 - (Amended Code)
HOUSE BILL - 205
PASSED - 2nd Special Session

hb205 ENR  (Uploaded - 10/18/2017)
Relating to the West Virginia Jobs Act
§21 - 10 - 6 - (Amended Code)
SENATE BILL - 509
PASSED - Regular Session

SB509 ENR  (Uploaded - 03/07/2016)
Removing 10-day requirement Division of Labor has to inspect amusement rides and attractions
§21 - 5 H- 1 - (New Code)
HOUSE BILL - 4364
PASSED - Regular Session

hb4364 ENR  (Uploaded - 03/23/2016)
Internet Privacy Protection Act
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