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Employer CCPA FAQs #4: What information is not “Personal Information” under the CCPA?

This post is part of our series of FAQs examining the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”)  that should help employers with operations in California to determine if they are required to comply with the CCPA and if so, what steps their HR professionals and IT departments should take to be in compliance. By way of background, the CCPA is a new privacy law that will go into effect in early 2020. Because the CCPA refers to “consumers” many HR professionals do not realize that the CCPA, as currently enacted, also applies to data collected about California-based employees. Please see our recent blog post for a summary of which employers will be subject to the CCPA and the key requirements of the law. Although the law will not be in effect until next year, employers who must comply should be addressing compliance obligations now.  For U.S. employers who have not had to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), the requirements of the CCPA will likely require a new analysis of the treatment of employee-data and updated or new data policies. Employers who are required to comply with the GDPR will likely already be familiar with many of the requirements of the CCPA, and a key area of interest is the degree to which the CCPA aligns with GDPR for purposes of implementing CCPA compliant practices for their California-based employees. BCLP offers a complete compliance program for employers that includes a formal gap assessment and tailored policies, procedures, and protocols

Employer CCPA FAQs #3: As used in the CCPA, do the terms “personal data,” and “personal information” mean the same thing?

In the coming weeks we will be releasing a series of FAQs examining the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”)  of particular importance to employers.  These FAQs should help employers determine if they are required to comply with the CCPA and if so, what steps their HR professionals and IT departments should take to be in compliance. By way of background, employers with operations in California should be aware of the CCPA, a new privacy law that applies to data collected about California-based employees.   Because the CCPA refers to “consumers” many HR professionals don’t realize that the Act, as currently drafted, applies to data collected about California-based employees. Please see our recent blog post summarizing the CCPA for employers. The CCPA will go into effect in early 2020, and employers who must comply should be addressing compliance obligations now.  For U.S. employers who have not had to comply with the GDPR, the requirements of the CCPA for California-based employees will likely require a new analysis of the treatment of employee-data and updated or new data policies. For employers with European operations, one key area of interest is the degree to which the CCPA aligns with the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  Employers who are complying with the GDPR will likely already be familiar with many of the requirements of the CCPA – and with some assistance, should be able to bring their operations and policies into compliance with respect to California-based employees. BCLP also offers a complete compliance

Employer CCPA FAQs #2: What is “personal information” under the CCPA?

In the coming weeks we will be releasing a series of FAQs examining the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”)  of particular importance to employers.  These FAQs should help employers determine if they are required to comply with the CCPA and if so, what steps their HR professionals and IT departments should take to be in compliance. By way of background, employers with operations in California should be aware of the CCPA, a new privacy law that applies to data collected about California-based employees.   Because the CCPA refers to “consumers” many HR professionals don’t realize that the Act, as currently drafted, applies to data collected about California-based employees. Please see our recent blog post summarizing the CCPA for employers. The CCPA will go into effect in early 2020, and employers who must comply should be addressing compliance obligations now.  For U.S. employers who have not had to comply with the GDPR, the requirements of the CCPA for California-based employees will likely require a new analysis of the treatment of employee-data and updated or new data policies. For employers with European operations, one key area of interest is the degree to which the CCPA aligns with the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  Employers who are complying with the GDPR will likely already be familiar with many of the requirements of the CCPA – and with some assistance, should be able to bring their operations and policies into compliance with respect to California-based employees. BCLP also offers a complete

Employer CCPA FAQs #1: Does the CCPA apply to employee data?

In the coming weeks we will be releasing a series of FAQs examining the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”)  of particular importance to employers.  These FAQs should help employers determine if they are required to comply with the CCPA and if so, what steps their HR professionals and IT departments should take to be in compliance. By way of background, employers with operations in California should be aware of the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), a new privacy law that applies to data collected about California-based employees.   Because the CCPA refers to “consumers” many HR professionals don’t realize that the Act, as currently drafted, applies to data collected about California-based employees.  See our recent blog summarizing the CCPA for employers: [https://bclpatwork.com/meet-the-ccpa-new-privacy-rules-for-california-employees/] The CCPA will go into effect in early 2020, and employers who must comply should be addressing compliance obligations now.  For US employers who have not had to comply with the GDPR, the requirements of the CCPA for California-based employees will likely require a new analysis of the treatment of employee-data and updated or new data policies. For employers with European operations, one key area of interest is the degree to which the CCPA aligns with the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). Employers who are complying with the GDPR will likely already be familiar with many of the requirements of the CCPA – and with some assistance, should be able to bring their operations and policies into compliance with respect to California-based employees. BCLP also offers

EEOC Proposes September 30, 2019 Deadline for Employers to Submit Pay Data

In court documents filed on April 3, 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced that employers may be required to submit pay data to the agency by September 30, 2019.

The filing was made after Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the EEOC to describe when and how it will comply with the Court’s March 4th Order lifting the White House’s Office of Management and Budget’s August 2017 stay on the EEOC’s collection of pay data.

Pay data has received much attention from employers and advocates alike since the Court’s March 4th Order, but the EEOC has largely remained silent until this recent filing.  For example, on March 18, 2019, when the EEOC opened its online portal for filing EEO-1 reports for 2018 (which are due by May 31, 2019), the portal did not include any request for pay data.  Instead, the agency issued a statement that same day noting that it was “working diligently on next steps” regarding the collection of pay data.

In addition to identifying a date by when employers may need to submit pay data, the EEOC’s April 3rd filing also proposes that employers only be required to submit pay data for 2018 (rather than 2017 and 2018) and describes the agency’s plan to use a data and analytics contractor to develop a new reporting program to collect the data.

The September 30, 2019 deadline, however, is not set in stone.  Worker advocates objected to the

Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

April 11, 2019

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In 2019, discrimination is rarely overt or deliberate.  As a society we have come a long way from the ‘No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish’ signs of decades past.  But conscious intent is not necessary for unlawful discrimination to occur.  We all have unconscious biases based on stereotypes and prejudices.  We may not always realise our biases, but we do need to be aware that biases related to protected characteristics such as age, sex and gender can give rise to unlawful treatment.

In the UK, under the Equality Act 2010, direct discrimination occurs where “because of a protected characteristic, A treats B less favourably than A treats or would treat others”.  In a discrimination claim, it falls to the Tribunal to consider the reason why the claimant was treated less favourably.  In other words, what was the conscious or subconscious reason for the treatment?  This requires the Tribunal to undertake an enquiry into the mental processes of the alleged discriminator.

As a reminder, the burden of proof lies initially with the claimant, and then shifts to the employer where the claimant shows a ‘prima facie’ case of discrimination.  If the claimant can establish a sufficient difference in treatment then there is likely to be a prima facie case of discrimination.  The alleged discriminator will then need to show a cogent reason for its actions.  Where there is no overt evidence of discrimination, the Employment Tribunal is entitled to draw inferences from the surrounding facts in order to conclude that unlawful

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place: #MeToo Movement Creates Challenges for Directors

The #MeToo movement continues to make headlines across the globe, toppling more than 200 powerful U.S. company leaders in entertainment, media, sports and a variety of other industries.  According to EEOC reports, sexual harassment charges have increased by 14% and EEOC-filed lawsuits asserting harassment have increased by 50%.  Larger amounts of cash are being paid to settle harassment suits, and those amounts may be minor compared to the reputational damage of being tried in the court of public opinion.

Directors have long grappled with how to oversee company “culture” and employee behaviors.  Now many boards find themselves wedged between a rock and a hard place, as they struggle to balance the need for swift action when a complaint is made versus the need for appropriate due process rights for the accused.

Boards increasingly are expected to investigate stale and non-actionable claims and off-duty conduct.  They are also expected to treat wrongdoers swiftly and severely.  Employees and stockholders push for transparency in investigations, as boards temper the need for transparency with the risks of defamation, tort or other claims that may be brought by the accused, as well as personal privacy rights when dealing with controversial, off-duty conduct.

The potential unintended consequence of polarizing genders also must be monitored by the board.  Recent research found that two-thirds of male executives hesitate to hold one-on-one meetings with women in more junior positions for fear they could be misconstrued.  This behavior effectively deprives one gender of valuable mentorship and opportunities to interact with

Meet the CCPA: New Privacy Rules for California Employees

Employers with operations in California should be aware of the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), a new privacy law that applies to data collected about California-based employees.   HR professionals should be aware that, although the CCPA refers to “consumers,” as currently drafted the CCPA’s definition of a “consumer” will apply to California-based employees.

Which employers will have to comply with the CCPA?

Employers with employees in California will need to comply with the CCPA if their business falls into one of the following three categories:

  • Their business buys, sells, or shares the “personal information” of 50,000 “consumers” or “devices”;
  • Their business has gross revenue greater than $25 million; or
  • Their business derives 50% or more of its annual revenue from sharing personal information.
  • What are the key implications of having to comply with the CCPA?

    The Employers who have to comply with the CCPA will be subject to the CCPA’s:

  • Expansive definition of “personal information”;
  • New notice requirements for California-based employees, which notices describe the employer’s collection of and use and disclosure of personal information
  • New data privacy rights for California-based employees, including the right to access, delete, and opt out of the “sale” of personal information;
  • Special rules for the collection and use of personal information of minors;
  • Requirement to implement appropriate and reasonable security practices and procedures;
  • Enforcement provisions, including a statutory damages framework; and
  • Private right of action for employees.
  • The CCPA will go into effect in early 2020, and employers who must comply should be

    DOL: Employers May Not Delay FMLA Designation, Even at Employee’s Request

    It is not uncommon for employees to ask whether they can first use paid time off available under the employer’s leave policies and “save” their unpaid – and protected – Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave entitlement until later, in the event that they need additional leave.  Some employers permit this approach, perhaps out of a desire to be “generous” to employees with respect to leave, or sometimes inadvertently due to not realizing that paid leave and unpaid FMLA leave can run concurrently, or even because of a failure to recognize at the beginning of an employee’s leave that the FMLA applies.

    In an opinion letter issued on March 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) took a firm stand against this practice, stating unequivocally that “the employer may not delay designating leave as FMLA-qualifying, even if the employee would prefer that the employer delay the designation.”  See FMLA2019-1-A.

    In reaching this conclusion, the DOL relied heavily on the FMLA regulation precluding the waiver of FMLA rights, see 29 C.F.R. § 825.220(d), stating that, in light of the prohibition on such waivers, neither the employee nor the employer “may decline FMLA protection” for FMLA-qualifying leave.  The DOL also noted that delaying FMLA leave until after paid leave is exhausted would run afoul of the regulation that requires employers to provide the FMLA designation notice within five business days of having sufficient information to determine that leave is for an FMLA-qualifying reason.  See 29 C.F.R. § 825.300(d)(1).

    Although

    NYC Lactation Policies Going into Effect on March 18, 2019

    In October 2018, the New York City Council passed two bills, Int. 879-2018 and Int. 905-2018, to supplement existing federal and state laws concerning lactation accommodation policies in the workplace.  Currently, New York State Labor Law Section 2016-c  mandates employers to provide employees with a reasonable number of breaks; and a private sanitary space, other than a restroom, with a chair and flat surface on which to place the breast pump and other personal items, to express breast milk during the workday.

    Effective March 18, 2019, Int. 879-2018 requires NYC employers, with four or more employees, to provide lactation rooms[1] with an electrical outlet, as well as refrigerators, in reasonable proximity to work areas, for the purposes of expressing and storing breast milk.  Those employers who cannot provide a lactation room, as required under the new law because of undue hardship, are required to engage in cooperative dialogue with affected employees to find a reasonable, alternative accommodation.

    The second measure, Int. 905-2018 requires employers to “establish, and distribute to all new employees, policies describing lactation room accommodations, including the process by which an employee can request such accommodation”.  The policy shall: (1) specify how an employee can submit a request for a lactation room; (2) require the employer to respond to such a request no later than five (5) business days; (3) provide a procedure to follow when two (2) or more individuals need to use the lactation room at the same time,

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