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New Jersey Enacts Stringent Employer Monitoring Device Law

By on May 2, 2022 in Privacy with 0 Comments

On April 19, 2022, a new law went into effect in New Jersey that is designed to further protect employee privacy in the workplace. Under the new law, employers cannot utilize tracking or electronic communications devices in any vehicle used by an employee unless they first provide written notice to the employee. There are exceptions to this new law. Significantly, nothing in this law is meant to supersede regulations regarding interstate commerce, including but not limited to the usage of electronic communications devices as mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, so if such regulations are applicable to your company, these new requirements do not apply. If not, employers need to revisit their policies to ensure that written notice of monitoring is provided to affected employees under the new law and is well-documented.  

The new law applies to employers, their agents, representatives and designees, but excludes public employers and public transportation systems (including chartered or scheduled bus transportation, whether operated by a public or private company). The law specifically defines electronic communications devices as any device that uses electronic signals to create, transmit and receive information, including a computer, telephone, personal digital assistant or other similar devices. Similarly, a tracking device is defined as an electronic or mechanical device that permits the tracking of the movement of a vehicle, person or device.

There are a number of potential remedies available for violations of the law. Penalties for violations of the new law can add up quite quickly, with a $1,000 civil penalty for the first violation and up to $2,500 for each subsequent violation. Failure to comply with these new legal requirements could also be considered a fourth-degree crime, punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both.

If you are an employer who monitors your employees in vehicles through any type of tracking or communication device, and are not exempted under the law, you must immediately provide your employees with written notice of your tracking activities. It is also strongly suggested that you also get individual written receipt acknowledgements from all employees receiving the notice so there is no dispute over whether notice was in fact provided. The time is now to bring your policies into compliance with this new legal requirement.      

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About the Author

About the Author:

Mr. Smith is Co-Chair of Capehart Scatchard's Labor & Employment Group. He practices in employment litigation and preventative employment practices, including counseling employers on the creation of employment policies, non-compete and trade secret agreements, and training employers to avoid employment-related litigation. He represents both companies and individuals in related complex commercial litigation before federal states courts and administrative agencies in labor and employment cases including race, gender, age, national origin, disability and workplace harassment and discrimination matters, wage-and-hour disputes, restrictive covenants, grievances, arbitrations, drug testing, and employment related contract issues.

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