May 02, 2002 General Employment Issues

New York Employers Must Provide Notice of Electronic Monitoring Beginning May 7, 2022

Effective May 7, 2022, private sector New York employers must provide notice to employees if they monitor employees’ telephones, emails, and/or internet access/usage (“employee communications”). The new law (the “Act”) amends the New York Civil Rights Law and applies to individuals, corporations, partnerships, firms, or associations that have a place of business in New York State, regardless of size.

Employers who choose to monitor employee communications must provide written notice to all new employees upon hiring and obtain acknowledgment of the notice from the employees, either in writing or electronically. In addition, employers must also post the notice of electronic monitoring in a “conspicuous place which is readily available for viewing by its employees[.]”

New York employers who monitor employee communications, or may monitor such communications at any point moving forward, should both update their onboarding package to notify new employees and post a notice in the workplace. Employers should also consider revising any existing handbook that requires employee acknowledgment to include a notice that the employer monitors employee communications.

Importantly, employers who use processes to manage e-mail traffic, voice mail, or internet usage do not need to provide notice to employees if those processes are “not targeted to monitor or intercept” the underlying communications. Therefore, an employer who performs ordinary computer system maintenance with no intent to monitor employee communications does not need to provide notice to its workforce.

Employers who violate the Act’s provisions are subject to escalating financial sanctions by the New York Attorney General: (1) up to $500 for a first offense; (2) up to $1,000 for a second offense; and (3) up to $3,000 for each subsequent offense.

Please feel free to reach out to any of our attorneys if you have any questions or would like our assistance in complying with New York’s electronic monitoring requirements.

NOTICE: Material provided on this website has been prepared by Kauff McGuire & Margolis LLP solely for general informational purposes, and it is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice. Material provided on the website is not privileged and does not create an attorney-client relationship with the Firm or any of its lawyers.