We have yet to realize the full effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy. According to recent reports from China’s National Bureau of Statistics, nearly 20% of Chinese citizens, aged 16 – 24, are unemployed. University graduates are likely to be more affected in China this year than at any point in China’s history with over 10-million Chinese graduates fighting their way into a job market with the worst-prospects ever. The Chinese government’s strict adherence to a zero-tolerance Covid policy has devastated major manufacturing activities throughout the country, leading to an overall decline in China’s sustained economic momentum coming out of the pandemic.
 China’s National Bureau of Statistics – Unemployment Report as of July, 2022.
 Pollard M., 2022, June 23. Analysis: Record numbers of Chinese graduates enter worst job market in decades. Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/world/china/record-numbers-chinese-graduates-enter-worst-job-market-decades-2022-06-23/
 Mayger J., Ma A., Liu Y. Hancock T., 2022, September 14. China Braces for a Slowdown That Could Be Even Worse Than 2020. Bloomberg News. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-14/china-economic-growth-forecasts-keep-sinking-as-risks-multiply
Consumer privacy continues to be an ever evolving and active area of law and California is still leading the way. In today’s update, we discuss the latest developments in enforcement and litigation for California consumer privacy law.
The CPRA and the Privacy Protection Agency Inches Closer
The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), approved by voters as a ballot proposition in November 2020, supplements and expands the current California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and established the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA or the “Agency”), which is vested with full power and authority to enforce the CCPA (including the additional requirements added by the CPRA). The Agency had already appointed a Board of Directors and been holding regular meetings, but has recently taken additional important steps in its formation.
Following the Supreme Court’s recent ruling narrowing the patent assignor estoppel doctrine, employers may have more difficulty shielding their patents from challenges by former employee-inventors and their new employer-competitors.
In a recent letter to members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, dated February 18, 2021, the United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (the “Inspector General”) outlined a potential disagreement with the Criminal Investigations Division of the Internal Revenue Service (“Criminal Investigations”) regarding the need for a search warrant to utilize databases containing cell phone users’ GPS data. On one hand, the Inspector General indicated that courts may use “similar logic” to expand a 2018 Supreme Court decision requiring a search warrant to access cell-site location information to likewise apply to GPS data provided to applications operated by third parties. On the other hand, the letter provides the stated position of Criminal Investigations, which asserts that “Cell Site Location Information  is distinct from  opt-in app data,” in apparent reference to the division’s prior claim that GPS data collected by cell phone applications does not require a search warrant because it has been “voluntarily” provided to a third-party.
The California Supreme Court has rejected an emergency constitutional challenge filed by drivers for Uber, Lyft and other app-based companies and various unions requesting that the Court declare the voter-approved Proposition 22 unconstitutional. Proposition 22 (“Prop 22”) permits some app-based gig ride-hailing and delivery companies to continue to classify workers as independent contractors despite California’s adoption of the stringent ABC test for worker classification (discussed here). The union-backed challenge to Prop 22 was not decided on the merits and continued legal activity challenging Prop 22 is expected. The lawsuit is entitled Hector Castellanos, et al. v. State of California, et al., Case Number S266551.
On September 2, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Frlekin v. Apple, Inc. (Case No. 15-17382) that Apple must compensate a certified class of California non-exempt employees for time spent waiting for, and submitting to, bag searches required by Apple’s policies.
This decision underscores the need for employers to be vigilant in ensuring compliance with California’s complex framework of wage and hour laws, and, perhaps more importantly, the importance of minimizing class action exposure through carefully-drafted arbitration agreements.
On Friday, May 29, 2020, the California Department of Public Health approved Los Angeles County’s variance request to move further into Stage Two of the California Resiliency Roadmap, allowing Los Angeles County restaurants to provide in-person dining service and hair salons and barbershops to reopen.
In Techno Lite, Inc. v. Emcod, LLC, the California Court of Appeal recently affirmed the finding that an employee can be liable for fraud when said employee violates his promise not to compete with his employer while still employed. Though public policy in California places strict limitations on non-compete agreements after an employee has left employment, this shield was never meant to become a sword by which an employee could undermine his employer with impunity even before his employment ends.
Several recent decisions have addressed the applicability of California Code of Civil Procedure § 425.16, known colloquially as the “anti-SLAPP” law, which provides a procedure by which a defendant can secure the early dismissal of lawsuits that are filed primarily to discourage the free exercise of speech and petition rights. Under the anti-SLAPP law, defendants are permitted to file a special motion to strike claims “arising from any act…in furtherance of that person’s right of petition or free speech.”
The California Supreme Court recently issued the latest in a series of decisions concerning the applicability of Code of Civil Procedure § 425.16 (the “anti-SLAPP law”), which was designed to enable early dismissal of lawsuits that are filed primarily to discourage the free exercise of speech and petition rights.
Other AALRR Blogs
- Preparing For The CPRA Part 3: New Contractual Requirements For Data Transfers
- Preparing For The CPRA Part 2: Changes To Data Retention Requirements
- Preparing For The CPRA Part 1: Changes To Requirements For Employee Data
- How China’s Influx of Young Graduates May Affect Your Business Contracts
- Warning To Warehouse Operators: What To Do With Abandoned Product & Recuperating Your Losses
- California Court of Appeal Rules That The Americans With Disabilities Act Does Not Apply To A Website That Does Not Provide Goods Or Services Connected With A Physical Location
- China’s Personal Information Protection Law Does Not Excuse China-Related Party From Discovery Obligations in the United States, Northern District Says
- Reliance on Third-Party Agents Can Expose You to Substantial Liability
- California Labor Codes’ Policy Against Forum Selection Clauses Overrides Compulsory Cross-Complaint Laws
- Privacy and Data Security National Update: Increasing Federal Involvement in Data Security and Enforcement
- Christopher S. Andre
- Cindy Strom Arellano
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