New York State Requires Private Employers to Notify Employees of Electronic Monitoring
On November 8, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law A.430/S.2628 (the “Act”), which requires private employers with a place of business in New York State to provide their employees prior written notice, upon hiring, of any electronic monitoring, as defined in the Act, to which the employees will be subjected by the employer.
Under the Act, covered electronic monitoring encompasses any monitoring or interception of employee telephone conversations, emails and internet usage by the employer through any electronic device or system, including computers, telephones, wires, radios, or electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical systems. The Act exempts from the scope of covered monitoring processes that are designed to manage the type or volume of telephone voice mails, emails, or internet usage that are not targeted at monitoring or intercepting the communications of a particular individual, and that are solely for the purpose of computer system maintenance or protection.
The required notice must be in writing, in an electronic record or other electronic form and must be acknowledged by the employee in writing or electronically. Additionally, employers will be required to post the notice in a readily available, conspicuous location, where it can be viewed by the employees subject to electronic monitoring.
The New York attorney general is authorized to enforce the Act, with maximum civil penalties for violations ranging from $500 for a first offense, $1,000 for a second offense, and $3,000 for a third and each subsequent offense.
The Act will become effective 180 days after becoming law, on May 7, 2022.