In November, Governor Hochul signed into law an amendment to New York’s Civil Rights Law § 59 requiring all employers of whatever size (except the State or its political subdivisions) to give prior written notice if they intend to monitor an employee’s electronic mail, telephone calls, or internet access.

This notice must be given at the time of hiring and acknowledged in writing by the employee; it also must be posted in a conspicuous location in the workplace.

The statute takes effect May 7, 2022 and is designed to protect an employee’s privacy by alerting them to the consequences of their use of company equipment improperly or for personal purposes. The employer still has a right to monitor its employees’ use of its computers, telephones, and other electronic equipment; however, it now must notify the employees of that practice as soon as they join the company.

This provision is enforceable by the Attorney General and may result in fines starting at $500 for the first offense, up to a maximum of $3,000 for the third and successive offenses.

If you need assistance with drafting this new policy or with any other aspects of your workplace policies, don’t hesitate to call The Coppola Firm.