NY employers to give written notice before monitoring phone, e-mail, internet usage of staff

At the time of hire, companies will have to inform the new hires in writing of their intention to monitor their calls, mails and internet usage, and also obtain an acknowledgement from the hires in writing or electronic form

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Starting May 7, 2022, all employers in New York, irrespective of the size of business, will be required to give a written notice to new hires about their intention to monitor the mails and internet usage and access of staff.

New hires will be required to be notified in writing, if the company wishes to either intercept or monitor their phone calls, e-mails or internet usage via any electronic device or system, at all times and in a lawful manner.

This notice, in hard copy or in the form of electronic mail has to be acknowledged by the concerned new hire in writing or in electronic form.

Such a notice will also have to be displayed by the employers where it is clearly visible to all employees being monitored.

The bill to this effect has been made into a law.

The law, however, is not applicable to processes designed to manage the nature or amount of incoming or outgoing electronic mails or telephone voice mails or internet usage. It will not be aimed at monitoring or intercepting the activities of any specific individual or person in particular. The law is applicable only for the purpose of maintenance and protection of computer systems.

Any violation of the law by employers will attract a fine of up to $500 the first time. Any repeat offense will attract a fine of $1,000. A third offence will be fined $3,000. Each offence after the third will attract the same fine.

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