Employers in New York must notify employees of electronic monitoring starting next spring under recently signed legislation.
The amendment to the state’s civil rights law takes effect 180 days after Nov. 8, 2021, when Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the new section into law.
Electronic Monitoring of Employees in New York
Once the new legislation takes effect May 7, 2022, employers must give prior written notice if they engage in electronic monitoring of their workers.
That includes monitoring of:
- Telephone calls or transmissions
- Email or transmissions
- Internet access or usage of or by an employee by any electronic device or system
The notice of electronic monitoring must be acknowledged by employees either in writing or electronically. Also, it must be posted in a conspicuous place that is readily available for viewing by employees who are subject to electronic monitoring.
Meanwhile, the contents of the notice must tell employees that “any and all telephone conversations or transmissions, electronic mail or transmissions, or internet access or usage by an employee by any electronic device or system, including but not limited to the use of a computer, telephone, wire, radio or electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical systems may be subject to monitoring at any and all times and by any lawful means.”
Labor Law Poster Updates. Simplified.
Under the amended law, the New York attorney general is charged with enforcement.
Employers found in violation of the law can face a maximum civil penalty of $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second offense and $3,000 for the third and each subsequent offense.
Employers with locations in New York that engage in electronic monitoring should prepare for the new notice requirements.
Also, it may be prudent to update company policies or handbooks to reflect the new law.