- California Passes Sweeping Privacy Law
- Maine Says No to Workers Comp Paying for Medical Marijuana
- North Carolina Removes Barriers for Employment
California Passes Sweeping Privacy Law
California Assembly Bill 375, which Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law, is being called the strictest privacy bill in our country’s history. It is also the closest any US law comes to rivaling the EU’s broad and restrictive General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect about a month ago. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 includes requirements for new consumer rights, new disclosure requirements and new penalties for non-compliance for any company that utilizes consumer information, including non-profits. The California law requires businesses to inform consumers what kind of personal data they are collecting, and it goes far beyond the typical name, address and email. It includes everything from records of internet searches to online purchases, to any kind of profile a business builds about a customer. The new law allows consumers to access the information being collected about them and lets them request it be deleted. The law was passed in only 7 days, but doesn’t go into effect until 2020. It’s expected it will experience some of the same delays and growing pains that happened in the 18 months before the EU’s GDPR went live.
Maine Says No to Workers Comp Paying for Medical Marijuana
The Supreme Court in the state of Maine has decided that an employer cannot be required to subsidize medical marijuana through worker’s compensation insurance. The court looked at the case of Bourgoin v. Twin Rivers Paper Company. An employee at the paper mill was injured on the job and was put on total disability. Traditional medication could not relieve his pain, but he did get relief from medical marijuana. He petitioned the company to pay for it, but Twin Rivers refused. The case eventually made its way to the State Supreme Court. The court found that paying for the drug would essentially require the employer to commit a federal crime since all types of marijuana are still illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.
North Carolina Removes Barriers for Employment
North Carolina has passed a law that could help offenders who have served their time re-enter the workforce. House Bill 774 was signed into law last month and goes into effect on December 1st of this year. It will allow individuals with lower level felony convictions to apply for a Certificate of Relief from the state. This is not a pardon, or even an expungement of the charges, but it does make ex-offenders more attractive to employers and landlords because they are shielded from any liability if they decide to hire or rent to a certificate holder. The hope is that is that removing the barriers to good housing and employment will reduce the number of re-offenders.