Employees? Pfft! What are they good for? Oh, right. California has enacted a new sweeping privacy law. Unfortunately, the legislature was forced to rush the concept into law due to an election deadline, so the law is full of ambiguities, conflicts, and flat out errors. For example, how does the California Consumer Privacy Act apply to employees?
CCPA and Employees
How do you address this scenario as a business owner? The unfortunate reality is you’ll need to evaluate your workforce to determine which employees are natural residents of California. Once you’ve created that category, the general rules of the California Consumer Privacy Act will apply to the collection, storage, and use of that data. Sound like a bit of a nightmare? It is. I’m expecting the California Legislature to amend the law to provide clarity on company obligations when addressing employee personal information. I’ll post a video when California enacts an amendment.
*** CCPA Update ***
Assembly Member Chau introduced Assembly Bill 25 to amend the CCPA to clarify the application of the law to employees. The proposed language states:
“This bill would also exempt employer-employee interactions, until January 1, 2021, from all provisions of the act, except the aforementioned private civil action provision, provision and the obligation to inform the consumer as to the categories of personal information to be collected as described above, information collected from a natural person by a business in the course of the natural person acting as a job applicant to, an employee of, owner of, director of, officer of, medical staff member of, or contractor of that business, as specified.”
As I update this post in late December 2019, AB 25 was passed by the Senate and signed into law by the Governor. Companies now have a one year period where the CCPA doesn’t apply to employees, although you should still be providing notice to employees of their CCPA rights. This late update also acts as evidence that the CCPA still is not truly fixed in a manner businesses can rely on when preparing compliance processes. A new ballot initiative – the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 – has even been introduced to amend the CCPA in 2021.
Richard A. Chapo, Esq.
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