'Social media bill' one step closer to becoming law

SALEM, Ore. - A bill that would prevent businesses from asking an employee for Facebook login information or to friend them online is one step closer to becoming law.

Lawmakers who comprise the Oregon House Business and Labor Committee voted unanimously on Monday to pass House Bill 2654. The vote advances the bill to a full House vote.

A news release from the office of State Rep. Margaret Doherty, D-Tigard, said lawmakers will vote sometime in the coming days.

"I'm glad we have acted to protect workers' right to privacy in this new digital world," Doherty said in a statement. "We need to make sure that it's clear that people don't leave their rights behind when they go online."

The bill is similar to one in Washington that would prevent employers from gaining access to a person's social media accounts.

The Washington bill would make it illegal for employers to ask job applicants for their Facebook or other social media passwords.

The bill would also make it illegal for employers to make it a condition of your continued employment.

Legal experts say gaining access to someone's Facebook or other social media accounts could reveal chronic health conditions, disability, pregnancy, faith, political views, or sexual orientation, which employers are generally not allowed to ask about.