On December 13, 2021, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the wearing of masks would once again be required in “all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.” This meant that for any business that did not have a proof of vaccination requirement in place, all of the business’s
Governor Kathy Hochul
New York becomes latest state to legislate workplace privacy protections
Monitoring employee communications – particularly electronic communications – is standard practice for most U.S. employers. Beginning in May 2022, however, employers in New York state who engage in electronic monitoring of employee communications will be required to make certain disclosures to their workers.
Pre-employment written notice for new hires
More particularly, on November 8, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law state Senate Bill S2628 requiring that all Empire State employers – regardless of size or location within the state – provide prior written notice to newly hired employees if they intend to monitor or otherwise intercept employee emails, text messages, telephone conversations, Internet access, or usage of an electronic device or system. The notice must be provided in writing, in an electronic record, or in another electronic form, and must be acknowledged by each employee either in writing or electronically.
Notably, notice only needs to be provided “upon hiring.” This means that notices only need to be given to employees hired on or after May 7, 2022 – the law’s effective date – but not to existing employees. In addition to this notice, employers must post a notice of electronic monitoring in a conspicuous location within the workplace that is readily available for viewing by all employees who will be subject to the monitoring.
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