California Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

California Privacy: What you need to know

California's state constitution guarantees the right of privacy to every state citizen (Cal Const. Art. I Sec. 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.
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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.
No employer may cause an audio or video recording to be made of an employee in a restroom, locker room, or room designated by an employer for changing clothes, unless authorized by court order. No recording made in violation of this section may be used by an employer for any purpose (CA Labor Code Sec. 435).
The California Supreme Court has recognized that employees have an expectation of privacy in the workplace, although that expectation is not without limits (Hernandez v. Hillsides, Inc., 211 P.3d 1063 (CA 2009)). In this case, the employer, a residential facility for neglected and abused children, became aware that someone had repeatedly ...

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