SB 186 protects social media accounts of employees in Florida

Employees may soon have a say in whether or not employers can access their social media accounts, thanks to Senate Bill 186.

SB 186, Social Media Privacy, was filed at the end of August, however it is one step closer to becoming a law.

The bill proposed by Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Palm Beach, was referred to the Commerce and Tourism Committee, Judiciary Committee and Rules Committee on Sept. 15. It prohibits an employer from requesting access to employees’ social media accounts.

Kameron Green, manager at Computer Repair Doctor, said he is in support of the bill.

“Not everyone is ready with their social media when they’re applying for a job. Social media shouldn’t affect how a person actually is when it comes to working.”

Green also believes that an employer has no purpose having access to an employee’s account. Only if the content can “harm the company” it should not have access.

The bill also prohibits an employer refusing to hire a potential employee, as a result of that prospect’s refusal to allow access to their social media accounts.

Alex Gholston, windows network engineer at The Department of Health, explained that the bill becoming law would not breach any rights.

“Access to a private social media based profile should be left to the employee's discretion. If a potential employee has a public profile though, I feel that it's open for scrutiny,” Gholston said.

Gholston also disagreed that employers should not be able to view social accounts upon hiring. An employer can only see public information and “should have the right to make an employment decision” if necessary.

Laurel Blackburn, blogger for and owner of Boot Camp Fitness and Training and the Tallahassee Strength Club, does think checking social media before hiring is needed.

“If they have pics posted of being drunk out in bars or posting anti-government comments or racist comments and posts, then I will not be hiring them. I really think that as employers, we are left without much info,” Blackburn said.

Blackburn also advises people to be aware of what they post so that it does not affect employment.

To find out about the next proceeding of this bill, visit to track its history.