In December 2012, Governor Snyder signed the Michigan Internet Privacy Protection Act (IPPA) into law. The IPPA prohibits schools and employers from asking employees/students to allow the company/school access to their personal social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and Gmail. The IPPA contains an exception for investigations that are necessary to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The IPPA applies to both private and public employers, as well as their respective agents and employees. Employers that violate the IPPA can be liable for both civil and criminal penalties, as well as attorneys’ fees. Note, however, that the Act does not prohibit employers from disciplining or terminating employees who take confidential and trade secret information without authorization to do so.
Excerpted from the Michigan Chamber’s 2015 Employment Law Handbook authored by attorneys from the Miller Canfield law firm.