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Employee Privacy: California

Employee Privacy requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Jennifer K. Achtert, Fisher Phillips

Updating Author: XpertHR Editorial Team


  • The California Consumer Privacy Act requires covered businesses to follow strict privacy requirements with respect to the personal information they collect about consumers, including applicants, employees, and independent contractors. See California Consumer Privacy Act.
  • California recognizes claims for invasion of privacy. See Invasion of Privacy.
  • California has specific requirements for criminal record checks, credit checks, monitoring of telephone conversations, and other areas. See Eavesdropping and Recording Conversations; Application Inquiries and Background Checks.
  • California imposes additional requirements regarding employee privacy that go beyond those of the federal government. See Testing of Employees and Applicants; Social Security Numbers.
  • In California, employers are prohibited from requesting or requiring that employees and applicants provide their the social media user names and passwords or gaining access to their personal social media websites. Employers may not discharge, discipline or otherwise retaliate against an employee or applicant for refusing to provide such information. See Social Media Privacy Protection.
  • Localities including Los Angeles, Richmond and San Francisco have requirements pertaining to employee privacy. See Local Requirements.