NY employers must provide notice to employees regarding electronic monitoring

On May 7, 2022, an amendment to the New York Civil Rights law takes effect requiring New York employers to provide notice to their employees regarding electronic monitoring in the workplace.

Notice requirement

The new law requires employers to provide notice at the time of hiring and once annually to all employees informing them of the types of electronic monitoring which occurs at the workplace. Electronic monitoring as used in the statute generally refers to the monitoring or interception of telephone conversations or transmissions, electronic mail or transmissions, or internet access or usage of or by an employee by any electronic device including, but not limited to, computer, telephone, wire, and radio, among others. The notice must be in writing, in an electronic record, or in another electronic form and acknowledged by the employee either in writing or electronically. Employers are also required to post the notice of electronic monitoring in a conspicuous place that is readily available for viewing by employees.

Applies to all businesses in New York state

The law applies to any private individual, corporation, partnership, firm or association with a place of business in the state. The law does not apply to New York State or any political subdivision thereof. The electronic activities exempted from application of the law include processes:

  1. “designed to manage the type or volume of incoming or outgoing electronic mail or telephone voice mail or internet usage;
  2. that are not targeted to monitor or intercept the electronic mail or telephone voice mail or internet usage of a particular individual; and
  3. that are performed solely for the purpose of computer system maintenance and/or protection.”

Violations of the new law are enforced by the state attorney general’s office. Employers found in violation of the statute may be subject to a civil penalty up to $500.00 for the first offense, $1,000.00 for the second offense, and $3,000.00 for a third and each subsequent offense.

Employers who have electronic monitoring in place at their workplaces should commence compiling the notice and posting requirements in advance of the May 7, 2022, start date. Employers should also develop a process for informing all newly hired and existing employees of their monitoring practices, as well as a process for obtaining written or electronic acknowledgement of same. For more information regarding electronic monitoring considerations in the workplace please visit Checkwriters’ previous compliance blog linked here.

Disclaimer:The information contained herein is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Employers should closely monitor the rules and regulations specific to their jurisdiction(s) and should seek advice from counsel relative to their rights and responsibilities.

By Megan Butz
General Counsel, HR Compliance, Checkwriters
Megan joined Checkwriters in 2020 and is responsible for reviewing, revising, and implementing internal policies of the company, advising on human resource, employment, and labor matters, and monitoring and publishing state and federal legal updates to the Checkwriters News and Compliance Center for distribution to thousands of clients around the country. Before joining Checkwriters, Megan served as a judicial law clerk for the justices of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court performing legal research and writing, followed by private practice in Cape Cod.

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