In November 2021, New York passed an amendment to New York State Labor Law Section 201, placing new requirements on New York employers that review or track employee electronic usage, including through phone calls, emails, and internet use. In its original form, the amendment required organizations engaging in employee monitoring to provide written notice to employees, obtain employee acknowledgment of employer policies, and conspicuously post the notice in a place available to all employees.
Recently, New York Labor Law Section 201 was amended again to mandate that employers provide digital copies to employees of any notice required to be physically posted at a worksite pursuant to state or federal law (“subject notices”). Additionally, employers must notify their employees that digital copies of subject notices have been provided to them electronically.
What Changes Were Made to New York Labor Law Section 201?
Previously, NY Labor Law Section 201 required employers to physically post notices “in a conspicuous place” on their premises. In practical terms, the amended law dictates that employers should:
- Provide a digital copy of all subject notices to employees by posting the notices conspicuously on the employer’s website or intranet or by emailing a copy of all subject notices to employees.
- Send an e-mail to all employees notifying them that the subject notices have been provided to them in a digital format as well, specifying that they were either posted on the website or sent via e-mail; and
- Update their internal policies/procedures to require that newly onboarded employees are provided with subject notices in digital form and notified via e-mail that those subject notices have been provided.
Key Takeaways and Next Steps
In light of these recent changes, employers should take stock of current subject notices to ensure all digital posting requirements are fulfilled and review and amend employee onboarding requirements to include digital distribution of required subject notices. More information about which notices are subject to federal and state posting requirements can be found on the United States Department of Labor website and the New York Department of Labor website. Some organizations may be subject to additional federal or state posting requirements depending on the nature of the business and the industry in which it operates.
Octillo works with organizations across the country to review and draft employee privacy policies, including employee notices, acceptable use policies, and employee handbook provisions, to work toward compliance with the growing list of employer legal obligations. If you have questions or concerns about the implications of NY Labor Law Section 201 or your organization’s employee monitoring policies, please reach out to a member of our team.