California Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

California Privacy: What you need to know

Constitution. California's state constitution guarantees the right of privacy to every state citizen (Cal Const. art. I, § 1). This provision applies to both public (i.e., governmental) entities and private companies and individuals. Individuals have a right to sue private parties, including an employer, for any violation of the state's privacy guarantees. The provision has been used successfully in court on several privacy-related grounds, including drug testing. In considering whether an individual's right to privacy has been violated, California courts use a test that balances the privacy rights of the individual against the rights of another to invade that privacy.
Common law. California recognizes all four common-law invasion of privacy claims: intrusion upon solitude or seclusion, public disclosure of private facts (e.g., unreasonable publicity given to one's private life), false-light privacy (e.g., publicity that normally places the other in a false light before the public), and appropriation of one's name or likeness (Hill v. Nat’l Collegiate Athletic Ass’n, 865 P.2d 633 (1994)).
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Social Security numbers (SSNs). Existing law requires an employer to furnish each employee with an accurate itemized statement showing, among other things, the name of the employee and his or her SSN (Cal. Lab. Code § 226). The itemized statement must be provided in writing either as a detachable part of the document paying the employee's wages or separately when wages are paid. A knowing and intentional violation of this law is a misdemeanor. However, state law requires employers to include only the last four digits of the employee's SSN or an existing employee identification (ID) number ...

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