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Bill Protecting Job Applicants’ Facebook Passwords Sent to Governor

This one's especially interesting for Geneva, considering the recent issue over scrutiny of the GMS South student's Facebook posts.

Your employer can see whatever embarrassing photos you publically post on Facebook, but you won’t have to surrender access to your account, if Gov. Pat Quinn signs a bill the Illinois General Assembly has approved.

Illinois workers would be protected from businesses that want access to their Facebook accounts and other social media under the legislation, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The bill says employers cannot require workers or job applicants to grant access to social media.

The Sun-Times says it is rare, but there have been cases of job applicants being forced to allow interviewers to examine their private accounts.

The Illinois Senate voted 55-0 May 22 to ban that practice. The House approved the measure in March.

Employers could still look at whatever a worker has posted to the general public. And they are allowed to set general workplace policies on Internet and email use.

Obviously, the bill doesn't apply to students at schools, but its passage is an interesting tangent to the recent controversy regarding Geneva Middle School South administrators alleged forcing a student to .

Extended Bullying Policy Bill Fails

A concern that its real purpose was to lecture students on embracing homosexuality killed a bill that would require Illinois schools to adopt more detailed bullying prevention policies. The proposed legislation, House Bill 5290, fell one vote short of passage May 2 in the Illinois Senate, although it could get another chance in the remaining days of the legislative session, according to a news report in the State Journal-Register

The bill would have required anti-bullying policiesto include a definition of bullying and a statement saying it was against the law. The policies would have spelled out how allegations could be submitted anonymously and how they would be investigated. Policies also would have been required to describe what could happen to students who bully others, such as counseling or community service. 

Some conservatives feared the bill would be used as cover to indoctrinate students. The Illinois Family Institute lobbied for an “opt out” provision that would let students and teachers skip any lessons or events that violated their religious beliefs.  

The measure needed 30 votes to pass but got only 29, with 12 senators voting “no” and 12 voting “present.” 

State Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, has proposed an amendment that states: “No student or school employee shall be required to attend or participate in any bullying program, activity, assembly, or event that may infringe upon his or her free expression or contradict his or her personal, moral, or religious beliefs.”

For more coverage, see Capitol Fax.

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