HR Alert | Updates to Employee Monitoring in New York and New Jersey

New Jersey Employers to Disclose Employee Monitoring During Travel

Employers Will Need To Provide Written Notice

New Jersey has adopted a new law to protect employee privacy in the workplace. Under the new law, employers cannot use tracking or electronic communications devices in a vehicle used by an employee unless they first provide written notice to the employee. The new law becomes effective April 19, 2022.


However, nothing in this law is meant to be construed to supersede regulations regarding interstate commerce, including but not limited to the usage of electronic communications devices as mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.


Affected Employers

The new law applies to employers, their agents, representatives and designees but excludes public employers and public transportation systems (including chartered or scheduled bust transportation, whether operated by a public or private company).


Tracking and Electronic Devices

The law defines electronic communications devices as any device that uses electronic signals to create, transmit and receive information, including a computer, telephone, personal digital assistant or other similar devices.


Similarly, a tracking device is an electronic or mechanical device that permits the tracking of the movement of a vehicle, person or device.


Enforcement

Failure to comply with this requirement is a fourth-degree crime, punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both.


New York to Require Employee Electronic Monitoring Notification

Employers Will Need to Notify Employees Upon Hiring

On Nov. 2, 2021, the state of New York amended its civil rights laws to require employers not only to disclose electronic monitoring activities to their employees but also to require employee acknowledgment before monitoring can begin. The amendments will be effective on May 7, 2022.


Affected Employers

The amendments apply to private individuals, corporations, partnerships, firms or associations with a place of business in the state that monitor or otherwise intercept:

  • Telephone conversations or transmissions;

  • Electronic mail or transmissions; or

  • Internet access or usage of or by an employee.

Monitoring may be accomplished by any electronic device or system, including but not limited to a computer, telephone, wire, radio, or electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical systems.


The amendments do not include video camera surveillance or location tracking. Similarly, the law excludes electronic monitoring conducted solely for computer system maintenance or protection.


Employee Notification and Acknowledgment

With this amendment, employers in New York will have to notify employees upon hiring that they are subject to electronic monitoring. The notice must be in writing, in an electronic record or in another electronic form. In addition, employers will need to display the notice of electronic monitoring in a conspicuous place.


Employees will need to acknowledge receiving this notification either in writing or electronically.


Source: Zywave HR360