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Unemployment Notice Requirement

Under this new legislation, employers must provide written notice of eligibility for unemployment benefits to any employee who has been terminated, temporarily separated, experienced a reduction in hours or any other interruption of continued employment that results in total or partial unemployment.

This information must be disclosed on a form furnished or approved by the Department of Labor (DOL). And, the Department of Labor has not yet published the required form to comply with the law which takes effect November 13, 2023. When the form is released by the NYS DOL, we will get it to you!

Social Media Disclosures

Many employers demand that individuals grant access to their personal social media accounts during both the application process and disciplinary investigations. This legislation effective March 2024, aims to curtail such practices by generally forbidding employers from:

  • Requesting, mandating, or coercing employees or applicants to divulge their usernames, passwords, or any other authentication data required for accessing personal accounts.
  • Observing an individual’s personal account while in the presence of the employer.
  • Replicating, in any manner, the contents of personal accounts, such as photographs, videos, or other information.

In this context, a “personal account” is precisely defined as “an account or profile on an electronic platform where users can generate, share, and view user-created content. This includes the uploading or downloading of videos or photos, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant messages, or internet website profiles or locations, solely intended for personal use by an employee or applicant.” Consequently, this legislation would encompass virtually all personal social media accounts held by both employees and applicants.

It is important to note that this law includes certain exceptions and limitations. For instance, an employer is permitted to access an electronic communications device if it has been fully or partially funded by the employer, provided that the condition of access was clearly communicated to the employee beforehand, and the employee expressly consented to it. Nevertheless, the employer remains prohibited from accessing any personal accounts on the said device.

There are other nuances and we would anticipate some additional clarification as we get closer to next year’s effective date. TripleTrack will monitor this employer mandate, and will provide more information as it becomes available.