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California Assembly Passes CCPA Amendment: Employee Personal Information Exemption Extension

The California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) has only been in effect since January, but amendments are already on the horizon. Personal information in the employment context was highly contested during the CCPA’s amendment process prior to enactment and has continued to be a point of deliberation even after the CCPA’s effective date.

In its current version, the CCPA excludes certain employment-related personal information from most of the act’s requirements until January 1, 2021, leaving employees and applicants, in effect, as second-class “consumers.” The exclusion applies to personal information:

“collected by a business about a natural person in the course of such person acting as a job applicant to or an employee, owner, director, officer, medical staff member, or contractor of that business, and to the extent the person’s personal information is collected and used by the business solely within the context of the natural person’s role or former role as a job applicant to or an employee, owner, director, officer, medical staff member, or contractor of that business.”

Thus, unlike consumers generally, employees and applicants currently may not request under the CCPA: the deletion of their personal information; the categories of personal information collected; the sources from which personal information is collected; the purpose for collecting or selling personal information; and the categories of third parties with whom the business shares their personal information.

It is important to highlight that under the current exemption, while employees are temporarily excluded from most of the CCPA’s protections, two areas of compliance remain: (i) providing a notice at collection, and (ii) maintaining reasonable safeguards for a subset of personal information driven by a private right of action now permissible for individuals affected by a data breach caused by a business’s failure to do so.

The California Assembly has now passed AB1281, which would extend the exemption until January 1, 2022. The bill moves on to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for signing. Notably, the operation of the extension is contingent upon voters not approving ballot proposition 24 in November, the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), which would amend the CCPA to include more expansive and stringent compliance obligations and inter alia, would extend the employment personal information exemption until January 1, 2023.

In light of AB1281 and/or the CPRA, it appears likely that the CCPA’s exemption for employee personal information will, at a minimum, be extended until 2022.  We will continue to update the status of this amendment, and other related CCPA developments as they unfold.

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Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume X, Number 254
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About this Author

Principal

Joseph J. Lazzarotti is a principal in the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He founded and currently co-leads the firm's Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity practice group, edits the firm’s Privacy Blog, and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) with the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Trained as an employee benefits lawyer, focused on compliance, Joe also is a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits practice group.

In short, his practice focuses on the matrix of laws governing the privacy, security, and...

973- 538-6890
Jason C. Gavejian, Employment Attorney, Jackson Lewis, Principal, Restrictive Covenants Lawyer
Principal

Jason C. Gavejian is a Principal in the Morristown, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) with the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Mr. Gavejian represents management exclusively in all aspects of employment litigation, including restrictive covenants, class-actions, harassment, retaliation, discrimination and wage and hour claims in both federal and state courts. Additionally, Mr. Gavejian regularly appears before administrative agencies,...

(973) 538-6890
Attorney

Maya Atrakchi is the Knowledge Management (“KM”) Attorney for Jackson Lewis P.C.’s Privacy, e-Communication and Data Security and International Employment Issues Practice Groups, and is based in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

212-545-4000
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