By: Cristina N. Hyde, JD
As of April 18, 2022, New Jersey employers must provide notice to workers before tracking their vehicles. On January 18, 2022, Governor Murphy signed Assembly Bill No. 3950 into law. Originally presented by its sponsors as a way to support privacy rights of New Jersey employees under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution (protecting against unreasonable searches and seizures), the legislation mandates the disclosure of the use of tracking devices in employee vehicles where it had not previously been required.
The new legislation defines a 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.” The law is applicable to almost all employers with only the narrowest of exemptions for entities such as any public transportation system, correctional facilities, and State or local law enforcement. In addition, the legislation does not make a distinction between company-owned and privately owned vehicles.
Penalties for violations include both civil and criminal penalties for knowingly using a tracking device without providing written notice and up to $2,500 in civil penalties where an employer unknowingly tracked an employee’s vehicle without first providing written notice.
With respect to the immanent effective date of this new law, New Jersey employers should make sure they have a written tracking policy in place that clearly states that the employer may or does use tracking devices in vehicles operated by employees. Employers should also ensure that the tracking policy has been communicated to all employees and have them acknowledge their understanding of the policy in writing.
If you have any questions about Assembly Bill No. 3950 or would like assistance with your businesses’ tracking policy, Contact Us.