By Stanley A. Camhi and law clerk Deborah Epstein
In the latest Jaspan Schlesinger Labor and Employment blog, attorney Stanley A. Camhi discusses New York’s recent amendment to the New York Civil Rights Law.
On November 8, 2021, New York Governor Hochul signed into law an amendment to the New York Civil Rights Law creating a new section (§52-c) that took effect on May 7, 2022. The new law requires that employers with a place of business in New York State who engage in electronic monitoring of phone calls, e-mails, and internet use must now provide notice to their employees of such monitoring.
The New York law requires written notice (either paper or electronic) to be provided upon hire to all new employees if the business monitors and/or plans to monitor its employees, the receipt of which must be acknowledged by the employee in writing. For current employees, the employer must post the notice “in a conspicuous place which is readily available for viewing by its employees who are subject to electronic monitoring.”
The notice advising employees of the employer’s monitoring shall inform them that “any and all telephone conversations or transmissions, electronic mail or transmissions, or internet access or usage by an employee by any electronic device or system, including but not limited to the use of a computer, telephone, wire, radio or electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical systems may be subject to monitoring at any and all times and by any lawful means.”
However, the amendment does not apply to processes that: (1) are designed to manage the type or volume of incoming or outgoing electronic mail or telephone voice mail or internet usage”; (2) “are not targeted to monitor or intercept the electronic mail or telephone voice mail or internet usage of a particular individual, and”; (3) “are performed solely for the purpose of computer system maintenance and/or protection.”
The Attorney General is authorized to enforce the provision. Any employer who is found to be in violation of the new amendment is subject to a fine up to $500 for the first offense, $1,000 dollars for the second, and $3,000 for the third and each subsequent offense.
For further information or guidance on how this law may affect your business, or for assistance in revising your policies and procedures in accordance with this law, please contact Stanley A. Camhi at firstname.lastname@example.org.