(c) 2010-2024 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Protecting workers from electronic monitoring, tracking, and management

Automated technological tools are being deployed to monitor, surveil, manage workers, and defend workers’ compensation claims. The Biden Administration has focused on this issue and requested information to create an advanced understanding of these tools' design, deployment, prevalence, and impacts.

“Employers are increasingly investing in technologies that monitor and track workers and making workplace decisions based on that information. According to an investigation by The New York Times last year, eight of the ten largest private U.S. employers tracked individual workers to assess their productivity. For example:

“The constant tracking of performance can push workers to move too fast on the job, posing risks to their safety and mental health. Monitoring conversations can deter workers from exercising their rights to organize and collectively bargain with their employers. And, when paired with employer decisions about pay, discipline, and promotion, automated surveillance can lead to workers being treated differently or discriminated against.”

A notice was published in the Federal Register requesting further information on the topic:

“The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) seeks comments from the public to better understand automated surveillance and management of workers, including its prevalence, purposes, deployment, and impacts, as well as opportunities for Federal agencies to work with employers, workers, and other stakeholders to ensure that these systems do not undermine workers' rights, opportunities, access, health, or safety.”

The deadline for comments was June 15, 2023. Click here to review the comments submitted.

Responses to this Request for Information [RFI], The White  House indicated, will be used to inform new policy responses, share relevant research, data, and findings with the public, and amplify best practices among employers, worker organizations, technology vendors, developers, and others in civil society.

While some states have been acting to address this problem, The White House appears to be trying to tackle the issue on a Federal level. Administrative agency action would be an effective and immediate effort to regulate technological surveillance and privacy in the workplace.


Jon L. Gelman of Wayne, NJ, is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters). For over five decades, the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  has represented injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Blog: Workers ' Compensation

LinkedIn: JonGelman

LinkedIn Group: Injured Workers Law & Advocacy Group

Author: "Workers' Compensation Law" West-Thomson-Reuters