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Compliance News Flash – December 20, 2019

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 California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) takes effect on January 1, 2020. While enforcement actions under the CCPA will not begin until July 1, 2020, the California Attorney General (AG), Xavier Becerra, has indicated that his office will take action against violations that occur between January 1 and July 1, 2020. Becerra also stated that his office will relax enforcement for small companies who make an actual effort to comply with the CCPA, but noted that “ignorance of the law is not an excuse.” As for the proposed regulations issued by the California AG’s office in October, Becerra does not expect them to change much in response to the numerous public comments submitted since their release. The regulations are expected to be finalized by the enforcement date of July 1, 2020. Click here to read the proposed regulations.

  • Microsoft announced that it will extend the “core rights” of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to all customers across the U.S., despite the fact that a business’ obligations under the CCPA apply only to residents of California. According to Microsoft Chief Privacy Officer, Julie Brill, Microsoft’s approach to privacy begins with the belief that privacy is a fundamental human right. In 2018, Microsoft similarly extended the core rights of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to all global customers, not just citizens of the European Union. Click here to read more.  

  • As a result of the Trump administration’s more restrictive immigration policies, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) denial rates for H-1B petitions for “initial” employment have quadrupled from 6% in FY 2015 to 24% in the first three quarters of FY 2019, according to a report from the National Foundation for American Policy. Denial rates for H-1B petitions for “continuing” employment also quadrupled from 3% to 12% over the same period. In addition, in the first quarter of FY 2019, USCIS issued Requests for Evidence (RFEs) in 60% of completed cases, compared to the historical average of 20%. Click here to read the National Foundation for American Policy report.

  • Advocate General Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe of the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) issued a non-binding opinion saying that Standard Contractual Clauses used by Facebook and other companies are valid. Standard contractual clauses provide a lawful basis for the transfer of data between the EU and the United States whereby a company contractually promises to comply with EU law and submit to the supervision of an EU privacy supervisory agency. Judges of the Court of Justice will issue a final ruling in the Facebook case in the coming months, and historically, judges follow advisers’ recommendations in four out of five cases. Click here to read more and click here to read the Advocate General’s opinion.

  • The Department of Justice reached a settlement with a staffing company relating to allegations that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Under the INA, employers are not allowed to request more or different work authorization documents for employment eligibility verification purposes based on citizenship status or national origin. The staffing company in this case required specific work authorization documents from all non-U.S. citizens while accepting any authorization documents from U.S. citizens for purposes of completing the Form I-9. Under the terms of the settlement, the company will pay a civil penalty of $70,695, change features of the Form I-9 software it uses that do not comply with the law, train employees on the INA’s anti-discrimination requirements, and adhere to monitoring and reporting requirements. Click here to read more.


If you have any questions or need assistance on any point raised in this Compliance News Flash please contact:


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.
 ©2019. Arnall Golden Gregory LLP. All Rights Reserved. Atlanta | Washington DC

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