A New Jersey Bill will be taking effect on April 18th, 2022, that follows in the tracks of similar laws passed by states such as California, Florida, and Michigan, among others, which will prohibit employers from using tracking devices in employee operated vehicles without providing written notice. This law was passed through Assembly Bill A3950 on January 18, 2022, but will only be taking effect in April.
Under this law, an employer who knowingly fails to provide an employee with written notice of the use of a tracking device will be subject to a maximum $1,000 fine for an initial violation and $2,500 for any subsequent violations.
The law requires that employers provide notice if they knowingly make use of a tracking device in a vehicle used by an employee, regardless of whether the vehicle is company or employee-owned if that device is “designed or intended to be used for the sole purpose of tracking the movement of a vehicle, person, or device.” However, it notably does not require the consent of employees, only that they have been given written notification. Additionally, the inclusion of the word “sole” could be interpreted to indicate that the law would exclude devices that are not “solely” intended for that purpose; however, it is uncertain how courts will interpret this.
What is clear is that a tracking device will not include any devices intended for the purpose of documenting employee expense reimbursement. This would support a reading that would accept devices such as a smartphone that is capable of tracking movement but are not solely for the purpose. However, whether or not it will be interpreted this way by the courts remains to be seen.
The law defines an employer as including an “employer or employer’s agent, representative, or designee. It also excepts several government employers in the state. This generally follows suit with the definition of an employer by other statutes, but it is uncertain how broadly courts will choose to interpret this.
New Jersey employers should immediately begin providing notice of any location tracking. However, given the growing number of states with similar laws pertaining to employee tracking, employees in other states may wish to consider providing notice regardless of whether it is currently required in the states in which they operate and ensure collection takes place only during working hours.
Employers should ensure that any information they collect is safeguarded and that access to this data is restricted. Learn More
Knowledge is power, and learning is the first step. If you’re interested in more information on fair chance hiring, check out our resource, Adverse Action Notice Protocols in Compliance With FCRA