A law that has just been enacted in the state of New Jersey means that all private sector employers must now inform their employees before adding a tracking device to a work vehicle.
There are many valid reasons to track an employee’s vehicle: any industry with a fleet like a construction, HVAC, or delivery service can become much more efficient with a fleet management system that keeps up to date. in real time. But at the same time, employees deserve to know what data their employer runs a business with.
This new law may only affect one state, but it underscores the importance of transparency through the one method that makes everyone listen: heavy fines.
What to know about New Jersey law
Effective April 18, 2022, any New Jersey employer who knowingly installs a tracking device on a vehicle used by an employee without first notifying that employee in writing will be subject to civil penalty.
The cost is capped at no more than $1,000 for the first breach and no more than $2,500 for each breach after the first, according to an alert from Stevens and Lee.
If this law affects you as an employer, you will need to provide written notice to all current and new employees upon their arrival. Don’t forget to keep track of your documentation as well.
There is one exception: if the tracking device is entirely and solely intended to document the reimbursement of employee expenses, the law will not apply. Additionally, nothing in the law supersedes other government regulations for interstate commerce.
Why vehicle tracking is affected
If you’re not involved in one of these relevant industries, employers tracking their employees’ every move can feel like micromanagement. But location data can help a fleet manager help their employees.
Many businesses may need to make several stops in the course of a day: plumbing or lawn care services are an example, as are local delivery services. With the right tracking software, a manager can spot when a driver has taken a wrong turn and can use two-way messaging to help determine the best route from their current location.
Some fleet management services like our top pick for best route planning software, Verizon Connect Reveal, will even include weather and traffic updates, so a manager can tell which drivers need to be redirected – another benefit that wouldn’t be possible without real-time location tracking.
Admittedly, these scenarios aren’t exactly what the new law is designed to address, since employees would likely be aware they’re being tracked, and this law appears to be aimed at preventing employees from going overboard without permission or knowledge. of their employees. But the law covers any New Jersey business that needs to track its employees, and that includes all fleet operations in the state.
If this is you, start preparing your documents now.
And, if this will soon be you, check out our picks for the best route planning software, all of which come with plenty of up-to-the-minute location trackers.