Legislative Alert - Thursday, July 14th, 2016: European Commission Approves Privacy Shield
- Privacy Shield Gets European Approval
- Don't Mess With Texas... Even if you are the EEOC
- Heads-Up if you Use E-Verify
Privacy Shield Gets European Approval
Member states of the European Commission have officially given their blessing to the EU-US Privacy Shield data protection agreement. According to the EC’s Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova, this paves the way for the agreement to be formally adopted sometime this month. Privacy Shield seeks to close some of the cracks critics found with Safe Harbor. The changes include the requirement that any data stored in the US must be given “equivalent protection by law” as to what it would receive if stored in the EU. The agreement covers everything from personal information about employees to online activity records used by advertisers. One thing that has not been decided is how Brexit will affect the agreement.
Don’t Mess With Texas… Even if you are the EEOC
Texas prides itself on being tough on crime, and has several laws that prohibit hiring ex-felons to do certain jobs. State officials boldly took the EEOC to court claiming that its 2012 guidance conflicts with those state laws. The guidance warns employers that blanket rules about not hiring people with criminal histories could end up causing a disparate impact on minorities. The EEOC has filed several disparate impact lawsuits over the last few years.
A judge threw out Texas’s case claiming the state lacked standing since no lawsuit had been filed, but the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit felt differently. The Appeals Court found that Texas does have standing since it could prove an increased regulatory burden caused by the hiring polices required in the guidance. In addition, the EEOC guidance was essentially pressuring Texas to change state law, which the Appeals Court considered a concrete injury. The case has now been sent back to the lower court.
Heads-Up if you Use E-Verify
Beginning on August 1, 2016, E-Verify will start deactivating user IDs that have not been used for 270 days. If you use a company like EBI to do your Form I-9s and E-Verify, you have nothing to worry about as this will not impact you. If, however, you use E-Verify independently you will have to be sure that you have logged in sometime in the last 9 months. If your company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with E-Verify you should get a separate notification directly from the agency.