By Linda Inscoe and Joseph Farrell

On September 27, 2012, California became the third state to enact legislation protecting employees, job applicants, university students and prospective students against coerced disclosure of usernames, passwords and other information related to personal social media accounts, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter accounts, text messages, private email accounts, blogs and podcasts. Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown signed Assembly Bill 1844 (AB 1844) and Senate Bill 1349 (SB 1349), increasing privacy

Many employers have adopted policies establishing guidelines for responsible blogging and use by employees of social networking media sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube.  These policies typically require that employees make clear that they are not speaking on behalf of their employer, unless specifically authorized to do so; comply with company policies regarding nondisclosure of confidential business information, discrimination, and harassment; and be respectful in their comments about co-workers and customers.  Companies commonly reserve the right to discipline