senate Bill S4676

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Requires prior written notice upon hiring and once annually to all employees, informing them of the types of electronic monitoring which may occur

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to codes
Apr 17, 2013 referred to codes

S4676 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1180A
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Civil Rights Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง52-a, Civ Rts L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S5364, A1485A
2009-2010: A3871B

S4676 - Bill Texts

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Requires prior written notice upon hiring and once annually to all employees, informing them of the types of electronic monitoring which may occur.

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BILL NUMBER:S4676

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil rights law, in relation to
electronic monitoring

PURPOSE: To require private employers who engage in monitoring or
intercepting electronic communications of any employee by any
electronic device or system to provide notice of such monitoring.

SUMMARY: This bill amends the civil rights law by adding a new section
52(a).

Subdivision 1 defines for the purposes of the section the term
employer, which shall not include the state or any political
subdivision of the state.

Subdivision 2 requires private employers engaging in electronic
monitoring, 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 communication 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 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 4: 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 maintenance and/or protection.

JUSTIFICATION: 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 employees 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 activity within
their organization.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.1485 of 2011-2012 A.3871 of 2009-2010
A.11105 of 2007-2008 S.5364 of 2011-2012

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred
eightieth day after it shall have become law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4676

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 17, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  ROBACH -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes

AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to electronic monitor-
  ing

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  The  civil  rights law is amended by adding a new section
52-a to read as follows:
  S 52-A. EMPLOYERS  ENGAGED  IN  ELECTRONIC  MONITORING;  PRIOR  NOTICE
REQUIRED.  1.  FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, EMPLOYER MEANS ANY INDIVID-
UAL, CORPORATION, PARTNERSHIP, FIRM, OR  ASSOCIATION  WITH  A  PLACE  OF
BUSINESS  IN  THE STATE. IT SHALL NOT INCLUDE THE STATE OR ANY POLITICAL
SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE.
  2. (A) ANY EMPLOYER WHO MONITORS  OR  OTHERWISE  INTERCEPTS  TELEPHONE
CONVERSATIONS  OR  TRANSMISSIONS,  ELECTRONIC  MAIL OR TRANSMISSIONS, OR
INTERNET ACCESS OR USAGE OF OR BY AN EMPLOYEE BY ANY  ELECTRONIC  DEVICE
OR  SYSTEM,  INCLUDING  BUT  NOT LIMITED TO THE USE OF A COMPUTER, TELE-
PHONE, WIRE, RADIO, OR ELECTROMAGNETIC, PHOTOELECTRONIC OR PHOTO-OPTICAL
SYSTEMS, SHALL GIVE PRIOR WRITTEN NOTICE UPON HIRING  TO  ALL  EMPLOYEES
WHO  ARE  SUBJECT  TO ELECTRONIC MONITORING. THE NOTICE REQUIRED BY THIS
SUBDIVISION SHALL BE IN WRITING, IN AN ELECTRONIC RECORD, OR IN  ANOTHER
ELECTRONIC  FORM  AND  ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE EMPLOYEE EITHER IN WRITING OR
ELECTRONICALLY. EACH EMPLOYER SHALL ALSO POST THE NOTICE  OF  ELECTRONIC
MONITORING IN A CONSPICUOUS PLACE WHICH IS READILY AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING
BY ITS EMPLOYEES WHO ARE SUBJECT TO ELECTRONIC MONITORING.
  (B)  FOR  PURPOSES OF WRITTEN NOTICE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS
SUBDIVISION, AN EMPLOYEE SHALL BE ADVISED THAT  ANY  AND  ALL  TELEPHONE
CONVERSATIONS  OR  TRANSMISSIONS,  ELECTRONIC  MAIL OR TRANSMISSIONS, OR
INTERNET ACCESS OR USAGE BY AN EMPLOYEE  BY  ANY  ELECTRONIC  DEVICE  OR
SYSTEM,  INCLUDING  BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE USE OF A COMPUTER, TELEPHONE,
WIRE, RADIO OR ELECTROMAGNETIC, PHOTOELECTRONIC OR PHOTO-OPTICAL SYSTEMS

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10413-01-3

S. 4676                             2

MAY BE SUBJECT TO MONITORING AT ANY AND ALL  TIMES  AND  BY  ANY  LAWFUL
MEANS.
  3.  THE  ATTORNEY  GENERAL MAY ENFORCE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION.
ANY EMPLOYER FOUND TO BE 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.
  4.  THE  PROVISIONS  OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO PROCESSES THAT
ARE DESIGNED TO MANAGE THE TYPE OR VOLUME OF INCOMING OR OUTGOING  ELEC-
TRONIC  MAIL  OR  TELEPHONE  VOICE  MAIL OR INTERNET USAGE, THAT ARE NOT
TARGETED TO MONITOR OR INTERCEPT THE ELECTRONIC MAIL OR TELEPHONE  VOICE
MAIL  OR  INTERNET  USAGE  OF  A  PARTICULAR  INDIVIDUAL,  AND  THAT ARE
PERFORMED SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTER SYSTEM  MAINTENANCE  AND/OR
PROTECTION.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law.

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