Employee SMS Frequently Asked Questions

Read some of the most commonly asked questions about how Employee SMS works, regulations, onboarding, and more.

What laws apply to sending text messages in the United States?

Laws may vary from state to state, and it’s important to consult with your legal counsel to ensure you are compliant with these laws.


In the U.S., these rules come mostly from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and related regulations issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but state laws and mobile carrier requirements also are important.

What laws apply to sending text messages in Canada?

In Canada, text messaging is governed by Canadian federal and provincial privacy legislation and, depending on the type of message, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (“CASL”).


 It’s important to always consult with your legal counsel to ensure you are complying with the laws.

What laws apply to sending text messages in Europe?

While the sending of text messages for the purposes of direct marketing is tightly regulated by the ePrivacy Directive in the EU and PECR in the UK, those rules do not apply to the sending of text messages to employees for management purposes.

However, employees’ mobile phone numbers are personal data so you should make sure that you handle that information in accordance with data protection law. For example, you should make clear in your employee privacy policy that you will use phone numbers to send messages and you need to keep those numbers secure.

Do I need to notify employees that they will be contacted via text message?

Yes, employees should be notified of the purposes for which their mobile phone number will be used, including the types of text messages that will be sent. Depending on the type of messages, you may need to provide your employees with the option to choose how they wish to receive the text messages. You can find more details on gaining consent below.

Do we need employees to consent for us to text them? (USA)

Yes, with one possible exception for certain emergency situations. To use our services, we require that our customers obtain express consent from their employees to receive text messages. When gaining consent, you should describe all the types of texts you plan to send. For example, you should explain if you plan to text employees only for emergency alerts, or if you also will text them to notify them of company events, facilities updates, benefits eligibility, and other important content.

Do we need employees to consent for us to text them? (Canada)

Depending on the provinces in which your employees are located and your type of organization, privacy laws may apply to your employees. In general, consent is required to collect, use, and disclose personal information. However, most privacy legislation in Canada permits employers to collect, use, and disclose employee personal information without consent as long as it is reasonable for administering the employment relationship and employees are provided with prior notice. As a matter of best practice, you may want to provide your employees with a choice regarding how they wish to receive certain communications.

In addition, business contact information is not generally subject to privacy legislation where you are using it to communicate with your employees in relation to their employment.

How should we get consent from employees?

There are a number of good options for getting consent, and we can work with you to implement those. For example, you can post on your intranet site or email your employees a description of your planned use of the services and include a phone number to which employees can text “Yes” to opt-in to communications. You can also gain consent via embedded forms that we can help you create or through QR codes.

The consent should cover the one cell number that will receive the messages, and the person giving consent should be the subscriber or customary user of that phone. Your consent request should give employees a clear understanding of the full scope of the messages you’ll send, and you should indicate that you’ll send the messages via text message.

Once I receive consent, is there more I need to do?

You should ensure your employee contact information is always up to date. If an employee indicates they no longer want to receive texts, you should remove them from your employee list. You should also remove individuals when their employment is terminated.

Can I use ContactMonkey to send marketing messages or sell products to employees?

Our services are specifically designed to facilitate the communication of timely updates and reminders related to the employment relationship, not to communicate commercial marketing or sales messages. You are not permitted to use our services to send any commercial, marketing, or sales messages including any messages that encourage participation in a commercial activity as defined under CASL in Canada and similar laws will apply in the US.

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