In November 2021, New York’s governor Kathy Hochul signed an amendment to New York State’s Civil Rights Law. The amendment mandates all employers to be transparent with their electronic monitoring practices and policies.
Amendments to the state’s workplace monitoring laws took effect May 7, 2022. For the purposes of this amendment, electronic monitoring is defined as when employers monitor any of the following activities on any device:
- Incoming and outgoing telephone calls
- Incoming and outgoing e-mails
- Internet webpage browsing history
- Wire or radio communications, or
- Communications using electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical systems
Electronic monitoring does not apply to processes that:
- Are designed to manage the type or volume of an e-mail, phone call, voicemail, or internet session
- Are performed as part of regular system maintenance
All employers with a place of business in New York must provide notice to and obtain an acknowledgment from employees upon hire regarding their electronic monitoring policy. Employers do not need to obtain acknowledgments from current employees; however, they must post a notice in a place that is readily available for all employees to view. The law is unclear about whether this applies to remote employees who do not live in New York.
Violations of the amendment will be subject to fines up to $3,000 per offense. Responsibility for enforcement will come from New York State’s Attorney General’s office.
Employer Next Steps
- Post a physical notice in a conspicuous location in the workplace and/or use electronic postings that are accessible for employees working remotely.
- For clients that receive workplace posters for the state of New York, through HRK, this notice requirement is an anticipated change, therefore you will receive an e-update, once available.
- Incorporate a policy and acknowledgment form into your new hire onboarding process.
- If you are a Full-Service or Virtual HR client and would like us to provide a notice template or need assistance updating your policy, please email us.
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This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this content, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.