Rep. Durkin Moves to Clean Up Facebook Law

SPRINGFIELD—Following up on legislation passed last session, State Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) filed House Bill 1047 to clean up the unintended consequences of the “Facebook Law” passed last year.

In the 97th General Assembly a new law termed the “Facebook” bill was signed into law as Public Act 97-0875. The Law seeks to protect the privacy of workers and those applying for jobs.

“Under this law, employers may request user name to review public post but world not be able to request certain personal information. While well intentioned the law places unreasonable restrictions upon an employer’s ability to eradicate theft and other forms of misconduct by employees. This is a well-intentioned bill but it clearly lent to unintended consequences for employers- public and private,” said Durkin.

House Bill 1047 will allow employers the ability to reasonably protect trade secrets and proprietary information and maintain a safe and secure workplace by enforcing reasonable restrictions on contributing work related information on social media websites while ensuring the privacy of its employees.

“I agree that workers should be provided a great measure of privacy, however, when an employee is believed to have misappropriated trade secrets or an employee harasses or threatens another employee, Illinois employers have an obligation to investigate specific allegations of internal illegal conduct,” said Durkin. “The ‘Facebook Law’ currently prohibits an employer from asking an employee to share content of a personal account in response to a specific allegation of work place wrong doing.”

P.A. 97-0875 places “hand-cuffs” on their ability to properly manage their businesses.

“I have introduced this legislation after working with the business community. This legislation which respects the privacy of employees and protects the legitimate interests of employers,” said Durkin.