The Virginia House of Delegates last week passed two privacy bills submitted by state Del. Barbara Comstock, R-McLean.
The bills are House Bill 1385, the Secret Ballot Protection Act, and House Bill 1931, KEEP Secure Act: Keep Employees Emails and Phones Secure Act. Both bills will now be sent to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s desk.
Comstock released the following statement on the passage of both bills:
“The passage of these bills is a victory for workers’ rights and for protecting employees in the workplace.
"The Secret Ballot Protection Act strengthens workers' rights and freedoms and puts us on the side of Virginia workers and their right to a secret ballot. Former Democratic Presidential candidate George McGovern called efforts to eliminate the secret ballot ‘a disturbing and undemocratic overreach.’ Without secret ballots, workers could be subject to intimidation, harassment and potential threats to vote in a certain way.
“The KEEP Secure Act is designed to keep employees’ emails, cell phones and phone information out of the hands of third parties unless there is a legal obligation to provide the information. It protects the privacy of employees and provides employers with protections against demands from third parties trying to get information beyond what is legally required in workplace elections.
“I'm pleased that we were able to pass these bills that will enshrine worker's rights, protect the secret ballot, and protect our pro-business climate and workplaces here in Virginia.”
HB 1385 passed by a vote of 69-30 in the House and 20-19 in the Senate. HB 1931 passed by a vote of 67-32 in the House and 21-19 in the Senate.