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New York State Requires Employers to Disclose Electronic Monitoring to Employees

New York State Requires Employers to Disclose Electronic Monitoring to Employees

 

By Robert G. Brody and Mark J. Taglia

 

May 6, 2022

 

New York recently enacted legislation requiring New York employers to inform their employees if electronic monitoring is used in the workplace (click here to read the legislation).  The new law comes with significant civil penalties for violations of the law of up to $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second offense, and $3,000 for the third and each subsequent offense. The law applies to all New York employers with a place of business in New York who monitor or intercept employee telephone conversations, email transmissions, or internet usage.

The new law requires New York employers to notify and receive an acknowledgement from each newly hired employee who is subject to some type of company electronic monitoring. This notice can be either in writing or electronic format; provided the notice is acknowledged by the employee.  It is important to note, employers are only required to obtain written or electronic acknowledgement from new hires, not existing employees.

Employers must also post the notice in a conspicuous place, which is readily available for viewing by employees who are subject to the electronic monitoring.  The notice must state the employer uses electronic monitoring of its employees.

The type of monitoring that must be disclosed includes any and all telephone conversations or transmissions, electronic mail or transmissions, and internet access or usage.  The notice also needs to disclose they types of electronic devices or systems which may be subject to monitoring include, but are not limited to, computer, telephone, wire, radio or electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical systems.

Notices must be posted in the workplace no later than May 7, 2022.

To help our clients, we have created an Electronic Monitoring Notice for their use.  If you would like a free copy of this Notice (even if you’re not currently one of our clients), give us a call, we would be happy to send it to you. 

To minimize potential civil liability, we also recommend New York employers (i) prepare written acknowledgements for new employees, (ii) update their employee handbooks, internet log-in portals and internal websites (or intranets) used by employees, and (iii) prepare (and post) a notice to be conspicuously posted in a public area at workplace (you can use ours).

If you have any questions or need help in complying with New York’s new electronic monitoring law, feel free to give us a call.  Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with the latest state and federal employment laws.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.454.0560.