To protect workers’ privacy, Assembly Democrats Anthony Verrelli (D-Mercer, Hunterdon), Daniel Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex), and Andrew Zwicker (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset) sponsored legislation to ensure that employers provide written notice before using a tracking device in an employee’s vehicle. The bill was signed into law on Tuesday.
The law (formerly bill A-3950) will provide regulation declaring companies using a tracking device in an employee’s personal vehicle, or the use of tracking devices in a company-provided vehicle without written notice to an employee, as a disorderly persons offense for the first and second violations.
There are currently no federal privacy laws barring businesses from tracking employees with GPS systems. Under the previous legal landscape, companies did not always have to inform their employees of tracking devices, which was evident in a recent survey where more than 22 percent of employees claimed to be unaware they would be tracked when first starting a job.
This law will further the rights of New Jersey employees under the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by prohibiting tracking devices in an employee’s personal vehicle and only allowing such devices in a company-provided vehicle after issuing a written notice.
Assemblymen Verrelli, Benson, and Zwicker issued the following joint statement:
“In order for the FBI or other law enforcement agencies to track the location of our cars, a judge must first approve a warrant. Previously, if an employer wanted to track an employee’s vehicle, there was no clear regulation prohibiting them from doing so.
“As long as companies do not have to disclose the use of tracking devices in employee vehicles, or provide written notice for the use of such devices in company-provided vehicles, employees’ privacy will remain at risk. Our goal is to protect the citizens of New Jersey and the privacies included in the Fourth Amendment. This law will help accomplish that.”