In November, Kathy Hochul, New York Governor, signed a civil rights law back in November, which makes it compulsory for private employers to inform employees if they were being monitored.

The law, which came into place earlier this month, will possibly hold ramifications for employers more extensively if other lawmakers follow suit. 

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Connecticut already has a similar rule in which employers in the state have to give written notice to employees if they’re being monitored.

Due to the New York monitoring law, private employers must give a notice in a “noticeable place” that shares their monitoring practices with their workforce.

Any new hires have to be given a written notice and recognize receipt of said information.

The New York law focuses on target monitoring-for example, reading emails or internet browsing history-while widespread network services or cybersecurity tools drop past the eye of the law.

Attorneys indicate that spam, network firewalls, and phishing filters are examples of what will be exempt from the law. 

Employers who decide to bypass the law and don’t tell their workforce about their monitoring practices are inclined to receive fines from $500 to $3,000.

Mark Francis and Sophie Kletzien, lawyers at the Miami-based law firm Holland & Knight, told INC.

“We typically expect enforcement actions to be considered by the New York attorney general’s office if they receive complaints from employees, learn of possible violations reported in public or social media, or discover the issue during an investigation they are undertaking.”

Employee tracking software isn’t something new.

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As companies prepared for remote work during the early parts of the Covid-19 pandemic, multiple chose to use tracking programs to keep an eye on their employees and their productivity.

However, outside of the legality of the practice, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of using such tools and how they may have an effect on company culture. 

Even though this law is only in New York at the moment, other states could embrace similar laws due to the increase in monitoring tools in recent years.

Francis and Kletzien believe that it’s probable other states will pass similar laws as more organizations use monitoring tools for security, productivity, and guiding a remote workforce. 

“Businesses may even encourage the adoption of such laws since they recognize the ability of employers to engage in electronic monitoring, although they will likely seek some uniformity in disclosure and acknowledgment requirements.”

Francis and Kletzien say.

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