Elinor Smith

HELENA (UM Legislative News Service) -- Under a bill in the Senate Business Labor and Economic Affairs Committee, employers could not fire someone, or discipline them, for what they post on social media.

Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, is the sponsor of Senate Bill 270. He said at a hearing for the bill Wednesday that what people say on social media is irrelevant to their place of business as long as it doesn’t reference anything to do with the workplace.

He cited examples of teachers across the country losing their positions over controversial posts they made online. 

“Does it happen in Montana? Maybe it has. Can it happen? Senate Bill 270 would help protect the First Amendment rights of Montana employees,” Regier said.  

There were no opponents or proponents of the bill at Wednesday’s hearing. 

A statute from the 2015 legislative session already bans employers from asking for employees’ or job applicants usernames or passwords on social media or to ask them to disclose any personal information that might be listed on their social media platforms.