Employers Get New Obligations Under New York Civil Rights Laws
New York State has recently amended its civil rights laws to place additional disclosure requirements on employers who wish to monitor employees’ communications both in the workplace and on Company devices. Beginning May 7, 2022 employers will be required to receive explicit permission from their employees when it wants to monitor any of the following:
- Telephone conversations;
- Text messages;
- E-mail and other electronic transmissions;
- Internet use
Employers must give notice at the time of hiring, either in writing or electronically. Employees must give their permission with a signature, either in writing or electronically. The employer must also post the notice in the employee breakroom (or comparable conspicuous location). Employers should amend their handbooks to include a separate monitoring disclosure (with its own signature page).
Importantly, “monitoring” under the law excludes video camera surveillance, location tracking, and electronic monitoring if that monitoring is done for the purposes of computer maintenance or protection. This means that an employer need not obtain the same acknowledgements from employees to continue these activities.
You can read the entire amended rule HERE.