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Privacy Bill Veto Gives NJ Employers Reprieve from Litigation


May 07, 2013

As stated in this article, "Businesses may have dodged a bullet Monday with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's conditional veto of legislation barring most employers from requiring current or potential employees to provide their login information for social media accounts, with the governor looking to chop language opponents have said would enable workers to launch frivolous lawsuits over benign conduct.

Christie didn't share his exact reasoning for scrapping the private cause of action, but he may have felt that there was enough protection under judicially created law, according to David I. Rosen, who chairs the employment and labor practice group at Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. Workers who think they've been retaliated against for refusing to provide social media login information or reporting an alleged violation could potentially bring a common-law claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, he said.

'New Jersey, generally speaking, is an employee-friendly state and there are a number of causes of action in New Jersey that are easier for employees to bring than in other states,' Rosen said. 'If the governor had not vetoed this and signed it as presented, it would be another layer of a statutory right to sue and it probably would have an enormous business detriment here.'"