To protect workers’ privacy, Assembly Democrats Anthony Verrelli (D- Mercer, Hunterdon), Daniel Benson (D- Mercer, Middlesex), and Andrew Zwicker (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset) sponsor legislation to ensure that employers provide written notice before using a tracking device in an employee’s vehicle. The bill was approved Monday 47-25-2 by the full Assembly.
The bill (A-3950) would 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 a written notice to an employee, as a crime of the fourth degree. A crime of the fourth degree includes potential imprisonment up to 18 months, a fine up to $10,000, or a combination of the two punishments.
There are currently no federal privacy laws barring businesses from tracking employees with GPS systems. Under the current legal landscape, companies do 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 bill would 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 after approval of the legislation:
“In order for the FBI or other law enforcement agencies to track the location of our cars, a judge must first approve a warrant. Currently, if an employer wants to track an employee’s vehicle, there is 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 a 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 bill will help accomplish that.”