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Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, J. Patrick Coolican, Patricia Lopez, Ricardo Lopez, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Corey Mitchell, Allison Sherry and Jim Spencer.

Employer wants your Facebook password? Lawmakers say that should be illegal

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators, Democrats, Republicans Updated: March 26, 2012 - 6:11 PM

A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers want to ban employers from demanding social media passwords as a condition of employment.

Sparked by national news last week that employers are increasingly demanding Facebook passwords from prospective employees, Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, wants to make sure that doesn't happen in Minnesota.

"I think that we have our personal life and then we have our work life. And our work life and our personal life should kept somewhat separate," said Franson. 

Four Democrats -- Reps. John Lesch, Kate Knuth, Tina Liebling and Carly Melin -- joined her in sponsoring the measure. Franson said a fifth DFLer would likely sign on.

"I think some on my side of the aisle feel that if the employer wants to ask for that that should be their business," she said. But she, she said, was not surprised that she found DFL allies on the issue.

"On both sides of the aisle, the goal is to work in a bipartisan fashion," said Franson, who has been in the news lately for making what many saw as a comparison between wild animals and food stamp recipients.

Knuth, DFL-New Brighton, said she signed on because Franson had a solid proposal.

"I tend to look at good ideas over personality, so I don't think it is weird," she said.

Sen. Sean Neinow, R-Cambridge, is sponsoring the identical bill in the Senate.

Read the entire measure here.

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