The application of the California Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) to employee data has been the subject of much debate since the first version of the bill was introduced on June 21, 2018 (just days prior to its enactment on June 28). Under a plain language reading of the CCPA, the law likely applies to employee data. However, it is unclear whether the California legislature intended that result. There is no clarity to be found in the general statutory structure, the legislative history, legislative responses to advocate letters, or the technical amendments signed into law on September 23. As part of our ongoing series on the CCPA, this post lays out why the issue of CCPA applicability to employees is controversial and nevertheless offers potential strategies to address CCPA compliance requirements as they may relate to personnel records.
As the most comprehensive privacy law to be enacted in the United States thus far, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has inevitably invited comparisons to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). At first glance, it is clear that the drafters of the CCPA (and the ballot measure that spurred its passage) drew inspiration from the GDPR. However, the CCPA is not a carbon copy of the GDPR, and a GDPR compliance program will not automatically meet the requirements of the CCPA. As businesses begin their CCPA compliance efforts, awareness of these laws’ similarities and differences will be key to creating efficient and effective compliance programs that capitalize on prior GDPR compliance work but also address the unique nuances of the CCPA.