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Compliance News Flash – June 5, 2020

Arnall Golden Gregory LLP is pleased to provide you with the Compliance News Flash, which includes current news briefs relevant to background screening, immigration and data privacy, for the benefit and interest of our clients as well as employers and consumer reporting agencies generally.

  • The White House issued a proclamation effective June 1, 2020 suspending the entry of certain Chinese nationals seeking to enter the United States to study or engage in a cultural exchange program pursuant to an F or J visa. The stated purpose of the suspension is to protect U.S. technologies and intellectual property from post-graduate Chinese students who may seek to acquire sensitive information for the Chinese military. The proclamation halts the issuance of visas to Chinese students and researchers currently or previously involved with organizations supporting China’s “military-civil fusion strategy.” The suspension does not apply to undergraduate students, lawful permanent residents, the spouses of lawful permanent residents, members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families, individuals qualified to enter the United States under preexisting international agreements, individuals studying or conducting research that does not contribute to China’s military-civil fusion strategy, or individuals whose entry is determined to be in the national interest. Therefore, the proclamation appears to most directly impact those non-immigrants at the graduate and doctorate level. And it is possible that the effect of the proclamation may reach to non-immigrants already in the United States in F or J status. No end date is stated in the proclamation. Click here to read more.
  • The California Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has submitted the final version of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) regulations to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for approval. The final regulations show no substantive changes from the second set of modified regulations published on March 11, 2020. Along with the final regulations, the OAG submitted a Final Statement of Reasons which outlines changes made from the initial version to the final version of the regulations and documents the OAG’s response to individual public comments. The OAL has 30 business days, plus an additional 60 calendar days according to an Executive Order issued by the governor due to COVID-19, to determine whether the regulations satisfy all the procedural requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Notwithstanding the extension, the Attorney General has requested that the OAL expedite its review and adhere to the statutory timeline of 30 business days. Despite the ongoing development of the regulations, the CCPA took effect on January 1, 2020, and enforcement is slated to begin on July 1, 2020 regardless of whether the regulations have been given the OAL stamp of approval. To read AGG’s summary of the CCPA and its applicability, click here. To access the final regulations, click here.
  • Senate Democrats have introduced the Public Health Emergency Privacy Act, a competing bill to Senate Republications’ COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act. Both bills require consumers to consent to the collection and processing of their personal data in the context of contact tracing and other COVID-19 mitigation measures. The bills differ in the same respects that most democratic and republican privacy bills differ—the democratic bill provides for a private right of action, and the republican bill provides for preemption of state law. In addition, the Public Health Emergency Privacy Act includes civil rights protections to prevent unlawful discrimination on the basis of emergency health data and it does not contain the same exemption for employee screening data as the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act. Click here for the Democratic bill and here for the Republican bill. Most recently, a bipartisan group of Senators has announced a plan to introduce a bipartisan bill entitled the Exposure Notification Privacy Act. Click here for the bipartisan bill.
  • A class action complaint has been filed in the Southern District of New York accusing an online grocery store of violating New York laws by categorically excluding from employment workers with certain types of criminal records. The complaint claims violation of (i) the New York City Human Rights Law which forbids an employer from denying employment solely because a job applicant has a criminal record, and (ii) Article 23-A which prohibits an employer from denying employment due to a criminal record unless the employer can demonstrate there is a direct relationship between one or more of the criminal offenses and the specific employment sought, or the employment would involve an unreasonable risk to property or the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public. According to the complaint, the online grocer follows a policy that amounts to an “overbroad and/or arbitrary pre-employment” ban that “results in discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, and national origin” by importing racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system into the employment context. Click here to read more.
  • On June 10th, AGG’s Kevin Coy will be presenting a webinar along with Kerstin Bagus of NetForce Global called “Love Should Be Forever, Not Data” which will address data retention laws and best practices. The webinar is hosted by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) and available only to members. If you are a PBSA member, you may sign up by visiting the PBSA website.

Montserrat C. Miller
Partner, Atlanta Office

Erin E. Doyle
Associate, Atlanta Office


The information presented provides a general summary and/or recent legal and regulatory developments. It is not intended to be, and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
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