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Fact Check: Your boss is watching you

May 9, 2022

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Do you ever feel like somebody’s watching you? These days they probably are, especially if we’re talking about your employer. Have you heard about a new law starting Saturday, May 7 involving digital workplace monitoring?

News10NBC’s Nikki Rudd is checking the facts on this one.

Whether you’re typing an email, making a phone call or just using the internet, if it’s happening at work on work equipment your boss can spy on you.

“I think it’s one of those things that for a long time, it’s been pretty prevalent in the United States,” said Tully Rinckey Associate Attorney Ryan McCall. “I know for the majority of employers nowadays, this shouldn’t come as much of a shock.”

It’s true. Any electronic communication within the company may or may not be monitored.

“It’s a fact your employer can monitor all these things?” Rudd asked.

“Absolutely,” McCall responded.

Starting Saturday, May 7, a new employee monitoring law goes into effect.

“What’s changing on May 7 is any new employees that are onboarding with a company must receive and acknowledge the fact that their employers have the right and very well may look at their electronic communication telephone calls, call logs, anything of that nature,” explained McCall.

McCall said most employers already do this but come Saturday it’s the law. It also requires employers to post a notice in the workplace letting current employees know about any electronic monitoring.

The New York Attorney General will enforce the law. Employers could face civil penalties for violating it.

“It’s $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second offense and $3,000 for the third offense,” McCall said.

If you’re like me, you knew your boss could look at your emails and internet use, but do they have to let you know if they’re actually monitoring you? McCall said that’s a bit of a gray area. At this point, they just have to notify you that they can.

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