Text: H.R.4908 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)

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Bill text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (07/20/2000)


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[Congressional Bills 106th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4908 Introduced in House (IH)]







106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4908

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for the disclosure of 
electronic monitoring of employee communications and computer usage in 
                             the workplace.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             July 20, 2000

Mr. Canady of Florida (for himself and Mr. Barr of Georgia) introduced 
    the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the 
                               Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for the disclosure of 
electronic monitoring of employee communications and computer usage in 
                             the workplace.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Notice of Electronic Monitoring 
Act''.

SEC. 2. ELECTRONIC MONITORING OF EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS AND COMPUTER 
              USAGE IN THE WORKPLACE.

    (a) Electronic Monitoring.--
            (1) In general.--Chapter 121 of title 18, United States 
        Code, is amended--
                    (A) by redesignating section 2711 as section 2712; 
                and
                    (B) by inserting after section 2710 the following 
                new section 2711:
``Sec. 2711. Electronic monitoring in the workplace
    ``(a) In General.--(1) Except as provided in subsection (c), an 
employer who intentionally, by any electronic means, reads, listens to, 
or otherwise monitors any wire communication, oral communication, or 
electronic communication of an employee of the employer, or otherwise 
monitors the computer usage of an employee of the employer, without 
first having provided the employee notice meeting the requirements of 
subsection (b) shall be liable to the employee for relief as provided 
in subsection (d).
    ``(2) Not later than one year after first providing notice of 
electronic monitoring under paragraph (1), and annually thereafter, an 
employer shall provide notice meeting the requirements of subsection 
(b) to all employees of the employer who are subject to such electronic 
monitoring.
    ``(3) Before implementing a material change in an electronic 
monitoring practice described in paragraph (1), an employer shall 
provide notice meeting the requirements of subsection (b) to all 
employees of the employer who are subject to electronic monitoring 
covered by that paragraph as a result of the change.
    ``(b) Notice.--A notice meeting the requirements of this subsection 
is a clear and conspicuous notice, in a manner reasonably calculated to 
provide actual notice, describing--
            ``(1) the form of communication or computer usage that will 
        be monitored;
            ``(2) the means by which such monitoring will be 
        accomplished and the kinds of information that will be obtained 
        through such monitoring, including whether communications or 
        computer usage not related to the employer's business are 
        likely to be monitored;
            ``(3) the frequency of such monitoring; and
            ``(4) how information obtained by such monitoring will be 
        stored, used, or disclosed.
    ``(c) Exception.--An employer may conduct electronic monitoring 
described in subsection (a) without the notice required by subsection 
(b) if the employer has reasonable grounds to believe that--
            ``(1) a particular employee of the employer is engaged in 
        conduct that--
                    ``(A) violates the legal rights of the employer or 
                another person; and
                    ``(B) involves significant harm to the employer or 
                such other person; and
            ``(2) the electronic monitoring will produce evidence of 
        such conduct.
    ``(d) Civil Action.--(1) Any person aggrieved by any act in 
violation of this section may bring an action in a United States 
district court.
    ``(2) Subject to paragraph (3), the court in an action under this 
subsection may award--
            ``(A) actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages 
        in the amount of $5,000;
            ``(B) punitive damages;
            ``(C) reasonable attorneys' fees and other litigation costs 
        reasonably incurred; and
            ``(D) such other preliminary and equitable relief as the 
        court determines to be appropriate.
    ``(3)(A) The amount of monetary damages awarded an employee under 
paragraph (2) may not exceed $20,000.
    ``(B) The aggregate amount of monetary damages awarded against an 
employer under paragraph (2) for a given violation of this section may 
not exceed $500,000.
    ``(4) No action may be brought under this subsection unless such 
action is begun within 2 years from the date of the act complained of 
or the date of discovery of the act complained of, whichever is 
later.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of that chapter is amended by striking the item 
        relating to section 2711 and inserting the following new items:

``Sec. 2711. Electronic monitoring in the workplace.
``Sec. 2712. Definitions for chapter.''.
    (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (a) shall 
take effect 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
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