The Vermont Senate has voted to further study a measure that would ban employers from requiring new employees or job applicants to provide access to private Facebook and other social media.
Companies across the country are forcing job applicants to log onto Facebook and Twitter accounts during interviews and requiring social media passwords from job applications.
Supporters of the ban say information on a Facebook wall deserves the same kind of protections that a letter, email or even personal diary do. Committee members said more time was needed to study whether to allow exemptions for certain employers, like public safety.
"I recognize that the committee struggled with this bill. It was a difficult issue for them and that a number of business interests and state government came in and asked for exemptions. And the more that came in and asked for exemptions, the more difficult it became," said Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington.
Some employment lawyers have argued that companies should know who they're hiring and that as long as they outline their privacy policies they can check employees' accounts. Congressman Peter Welch last month introduced similar legislation in Washington that would ban the practice.