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New Jersey Prohibits Employers from Using Devices to Track Employees

On January 18, 2022, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Assembly Bill No. 3950.  The law prohibits employers from knowingly using tracking devices to solely track an employee or their vehicle’s movement in an employee-used vehicle (whether personal or company owned) without giving them notice. However, the law doesn’t apply to scheduled or charter bus transportation employers or when tracking devices are used to document employee expense reimbursement.

The law applies to all employers operating in the State of New Jersey, except the Department of Corrections, State Parole Board, county correctional facilities, state or local law enforcement agencies, or any public transportation system. 

Employers found to be in violation of the law may be subject to civil penalties, up to $1000 for the first violation and up to $2500 for each additional violation. In addition, employers may face criminal penalties when tracking employees while they are using a personal vehicle.

The law takes effective on April 18, 2022.

Tracking Devices & Electronic Communication

Employers are not permitted to “make use of” devices, including “tracking devices” and “electronic communications devices,” in a vehicle used by an employee unless they provide advance notice.

The law defines “tracking device” as “an electronic or mechanical device which is designed or intended to be used for the sole purpose of tracking the movement of a vehicle, person, or device.” Devices “used for the purpose of documenting employee expense reimbursement” are excluded from the definition of “tracking device.”

“Electronic communications devices” broadly include computers, telephones, personal digital assistants, or other similar devices which use electronic signals to create, transmit, or receive information. The statutory definition of “electronic communications devices” is not limited to a device transmitting “location information” or one that may be “used by the employer for tracking an employee’s location.”

Interaction with Other Laws

The law expressly states that it does not “supersede regulations governing interstate commerce, including but not limited to, the usage of electronic communications devices as mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.”

Next Steps for Employers

Employers should review their electronic monitoring policies and procedures and make updates to their practices to, including drafting and providing adequate notice to employees prior monitoring and/or deciding whether to discontinuing the practice unless required by another federal or state law.

Employers should ensure that any notice that is provided to employees includes what devices are being used and that they are being used for the purpose of tracking an employee’s location. It is also a best practice to have employees complete a signed acknowledgement of notice and employers should keep a copy of the signed acknowledgement in the employee’s personnel file.

Other states may have similar laws or stricter requirements, so multistate employers should also ensure that they check the law in other states.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.