The Tennessee Legislature recently passed the Employee Online Privacy Act of 2014. This is found in 2014 Public Chapter 826. This new statute will be found at T.C.A. § 50-1-1001 et seq. and takes effect on January 1, 2015. This new statute basically prevents an employer from taking any adverse employment action against an employee for failure to provide access to a “personal internet account” (which basically includes any type of internet account). “Personal internet account” is defined as follows:
(5) “Personal Internet account”:
(A) Means an online account that is used by an employee or applicant exclusively for personal communications unrelated to any business purpose of the employer; and includes any electronic medium or service where users may create, share or view content, including, emails, messages, instant messages, text messages, blogs, podcasts, photographs, videos or user-created profiles; and
(B) Does not include an account created, maintained, used, or accessed by an employee or applicant for business-related communications or for a business purpose of the employer.