Employment Update: Notice of Electronic Monitoring of Employee Phones, Internet, Email

Starting May 7, 2022, employers with a place of business in New York state must provide notice to employees if they will be monitoring their telephone conversations, emails and/or internet usage. The specific terms of the new law can be found here along with the type of business that may be excluded.

The notice requirement presently requires employers to provide notice of electronic monitoring upon hiring of new “employees”. Employee is not defined and is silent as to whether this new law would pertain to others, like independent contractors, who may use the employer’s phones, computers, internet, etc.

Employers are required to provide the newly hired employee notice of their electronic monitoring policy as well as obtain a signed acknowledgement from the employee of the employee’s awareness of the policy. The employer is also required to post such notice in a place that is easily visible by the employees to whom it pertains.

Currently, the new law does not apply to current employees of the company, but employers would be wise to provide notice and obtain an acknowledgement from all employees.

Should an employer fail to comply with the new law, an employee does not presently have a private right of action. Rather, this law is enforced by the attorney general, who may fine the employer $500 for the first violation, $1,000 for the second violation and $3,000 for the third and subsequent violations.

For more information or to find out about your right and options, contact Sheree Donath at sheree@donathlaw.com or at (516) 804-0274 or by clicking here.

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