Zebrowski, Gottfried, Cahill, Perry, Weprin, De La Rosa, Cruz, Abinanti, Colton, Simon, Otis,
Add 52-c, Civ Rts L
Requires prior written notice upon hiring to all employees, informing them of the types of electronic monitoring which may occur; provides employers shall also post the notice of electronic monitoring.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A430
SPONSOR: Rosenthal L
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the civil rights law, in relation to electronic monitor-
This bill requires private employers who engage in monitoring or inter-
cepting electronic communications of any employee by any electronic
device or system to provide notice of such monitoring.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one amends the civil rights law by adding a new section 52-c.
Subdivision 1 defines for the purposes of the section the term employer,
which shall not include the state or any political subdivision of the
Subdivision 2 requires private employers engaging in electronic monitor-
ing, which includes monitoring or otherwise intercepting telephone
conversations or transmissions, electronic mail or transmission, or
internet usage of or by the employee, by any electronic device or
system, to give prior notice to employees in writing, in an electronic
record, or in another electronic form. The notice must be acknowledged
by the employee either in writing or electronically. Employers are also
required to post the notice in a conspicuous place which is readily
accessible to employees. The notice shall contain the form of communi-
cation and/or computer usage that will be monitored, means by which
monitoring will be accomplished, frequency of monitoring, and manner in
which the information will be collected, stored, and used.
Subdivision 3 allows courts to award damages and reasonable attorneys,
fees to a prevailing plaintiff as well as afford injunctive relief
against any employer that commits or proposes to commit a violation of
Subdivision 4 authorizes the attorney general to enforce the provisions
of the section. Any employer in violation of this section shall be
subject to a maximum civil penalty of five hundred dollars for the first
offense, one thousand dollars for the second offense and three thousand
dollars for the third and each subsequent offense. Subdivision 5: This
section does not apply to processes undertaken by employers to manage
the type or volume of incoming or outgoing electronic mail or telephone
voice mail or Internet usage for the purpose of computer system mainte-
nance and/or protection.
Section two sets forth the effective date.
Notifying employees of computer monitoring protects employee privacy by
making sure that they understand the consequences of inappropriate
internet activity. According to the American Management Agency's 2007
Electronic Monitoring and Surveillance Survey, bosses who fired employ-
ees for Internet misuse cited the two main reasons as violation of
company policy and excessive personal use. By making guidelines of
appropriate and inappropriate Internet use public, employees will be
less likely to undermine company standards. Companies will retain the
right to monitor computer usage, simply with the stipulation that
employees are informed of surveillance practices. This knowledge will
increase transparency within the organization and help to avoid lawsuits
and litigation regarding invasion of privacy. Notification of computer
surveillance will permit employees to make informed decisions about
their internet use with full knowledge of the ramifications of their
actions, while supporting companies' ability to monitor internet activ-
ity within their organization.
2019-20: A.1920-A -Advanced to Third Reading Calendar; S.4586-A
-Referred to Codes
2017-18: A.5112-A - Advanced to Third Reading Calendar
2015-16: A.995 - Advanced to Third Reading Calendar; S.7875 - Referred
to Investigations and Government Operations
2013-14: A.1180-A -Advanced to Third Reading Calendar; S.4676 - Referred
2011-12: A.1485-A - Ordered to Third Reading Calendar; S.5364 - Referred
2009-10: A3871-B - Passed Assembly; S.4755-A - Ordered to Third Reading
2007-08: A.11105 - Reported to Rules; S.8178 - Referred to Labor
None to the State.
This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it
shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
January 6, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. L. ROSENTHAL, ZEBROWSKI, GOTTFRIED, CAHILL,
PERRY, WEPRIN, DE LA ROSA, CRUZ, ABINANTI, COLTON -- Multi-Sponsored
by -- M. of A. GALEF -- read once and referred to the Committee on
AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to electronic monitor-
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The civil rights law is amended by adding a new section
2 52-c to read as follows:
3 § 52-c. Employers engaged in electronic monitoring; prior notice
4 required. 1. For purposes of this section, employer means any individ-
5 ual, corporation, partnership, firm, or association with a place of
6 business in the state. It shall not include the state or any political
7 subdivision of the state.
8 2. (a) Any employer who monitors or otherwise intercepts telephone
9 conversations or transmissions, electronic mail or transmissions, or
10 internet access or usage of or by an employee by any electronic device
11 or system, including but not limited to the use of a computer, tele-
12 phone, wire, radio, or electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical
13 systems, shall give prior written notice upon hiring to all employees
14 who are subject to electronic monitoring. The notice required by this
15 subdivision shall be in writing, in an electronic record, or in another
16 electronic form and acknowledged by the employee either in writing or
17 electronically. Each employer shall also post the notice of electronic
18 monitoring in a conspicuous place which is readily available for viewing
19 by its employees who are subject to electronic monitoring.
20 (b) For purposes of written notice required by paragraph (a) of this
21 subdivision, an employee shall be advised that any and all telephone
22 conversations or transmissions, electronic mail or transmissions, or
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 430 2
1 internet access or usage by an employee by any electronic device or
2 system, including but not limited to the use of a computer, telephone,
3 wire, radio or electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical systems
4 may be subject to monitoring at any and all times and by any lawful
6 3. The attorney general may enforce the provisions of this section.
7 Any employer found to be in violation of this section shall be subject
8 to a maximum civil penalty of five hundred dollars for the first
9 offense, one thousand dollars for the second offense and three thousand
10 dollars for the third and each subsequent offense.
11 4. The provisions of this section shall not apply to processes that
12 are designed to manage the type or volume of incoming or outgoing elec-
13 tronic mail or telephone voice mail or internet usage, that are not
14 targeted to monitor or intercept the electronic mail or telephone voice
15 mail or internet usage of a particular individual, and that are
16 performed solely for the purpose of computer system maintenance and/or
18 § 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
19 it shall have become a law.