TRACKING DEVICES IN YOUR VEHICLES? EMPLOYEES MUST HAVE A WRITTEN WARNING
March 28, 2022
Starting April 18, 2022, private sector employers in New Jersey who knowingly use tracking devices for the sole purpose of tracking the movement of a vehicle, person or device will face civil penalties unless written notice is provided to employees that tracking devices are being used.
A “tracking device” is defined for this purpose as an electronic or mechanical device that is designed or intended to be used solely for the purpose of tracking the movement of a vehicle, person, or device. Devices used for the purpose of documenting employee expense reimbursement are not considered “tracking devices” under this new law.
In order for such a “tracking device” to be used in a vehicle used by an employee, the employee must be provided with written notice. Failure to do so will result in a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for the first violation and up to $2,500 for each subsequent violation. Enforcement actions are brought the New Jersey Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development by way of summary penalty enforcement proceedings.
To the extent “regulations governing interstate commerce” – including (but not limited to) regulations governing the mandatory use of electronic communications devices – are inconsistent with this new written notice requirement, those regulations will control.
The statute does not prescribe the form that the written notice to employees must take. Nor does the statute indicate whether the “written notice” can be provided electronically or must be handed to employees on paper. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development may issue regulations to fill this and other “gaps” that this new legislation leaves open. Nonetheless, private employers should immediately distribute notices to all employees who may be called upon to use vehicles equipped with tracking devices. Until regulations provide otherwise, written notice by hard copy or by electronic means should be acceptable provided the means of distribution used allows for memorialization. Thus, whether distributed on paper or electronically, the notices should be in a form that can be kept on record. The employees should be required to acknowledge receipt, review and understanding of the written notice in a format that can likewise be kept on record. Similar notices should be provided to and acknowledged by new hires and kept on record. Records should be kept either in each employee’s individual personnel file, or in a central file dedicated to the purpose of memorializing distribution and receipt of the mandated written notices.
This summary is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. If you require advice on this or any other legal issue pertaining to employment, contact our office for an appointment.