States are rushing to restrict employer requests for social media access from new hires and employees, and Oregon has now joined the growing list of states banning employers from prying into personal accounts.

In a law signed May 22 and taking effect Jan. 1, 2014, Oregon is making it an unlawful employment practice for employers to compel employees or applicants for employment to provide access to their personal, protected social media accounts, or to be compelled to add employers to their list of contacts. Email is included in the protected list.

The law broadly defines social media as any "electronic medium that allows users to create, share and view user-generated content, including, but not limited to, uploading or downloading videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant messages, electronic mail or Internet website profiles or locations."