On May 17, 2024 Colorado Governor Polis signed the landmark Colorado AI Act (Senate Bill 24-205) into law. Colorado is now the first US state with comprehensive AI regulation, adopting a classification system like the European Union’s recent AI Act. The law will take effect February 1, 2026

The law exempts small employers (fewer than fifty full-time employees) from some of its requirements but otherwise requires companies to take extensive measures to protect Colorado residents against harms such as algorithmic discrimination.

SB 205’s Details

SB 205 requires “developers” and “deployers” of “high-risk artificial intelligence systems” to use “reasonable care” to protect Colorado resident consumers from any known or reasonably foreseeable risks of “algorithmic discrimination.” As written, the law most likely applies to both creators of high-risk AI systems, as well as employers adopting high-risk AI technologies within their organization.  Continue Reading From Brussels to Boulder: Colorado Enacts Comprehensive AI Law with Significant Obligations for Employers on the Heels of the EU AI Act

Baker McKenzie’s North America Trade Secrets Practice is a true cross-disciplinary team of industry ranked and recognized intellectual property, employment, tech transaction, litigation and trial attorneys exclusively dedicated to helping clients identify, protect, prosecute and defend their most valuable, complex and market-differentiating trade secrets throughout the US, Canada, Mexico and globally.

Our Focus on Trade

Baker McKenzie is pleased to invite you to an afternoon exploring strategy and risk in the year of the dragon.

Alongside industry leaders from Meta and Dayforce, this will be an interactive discussion exploring how businesses can harness the power and auspiciousness of the mythical dragon in building a comprehensive data, AI and cyber

Special thanks to co-presenters Teresa Michaud and Bradford Newman.

California’s CLE Compliance Deadline Is Approaching…    
We can help!

If your last name starts with H-M, you are probably well aware that your CLE compliance deadline is right around the corner – February 1, 2024. In addition to the general credit requirement, the state of California requires all attorneys to complete:

  • At least four hours of legal ethics
  • At least one hour on competence issues
  • At least two hours on the elimination of bias in the legal profession and society. Of the two hours, at least one hour must focus on implicit bias and the promotion of bias-reducing strategies.

Our lawyers will offer three virtual sessions, focused on key considerations for AI development and utilization, to help you meet your CLE requirements. These sessions will also offer CLE credit in the states of Illinois, Texas, and New York. Participants requesting CLE for other states will receive uniform CLE certificates. 

Please register and let us know which individual session(s) you plan to attend. We look forward to your participation!


Promoting Unity: Overcoming the Risks of Bias and Prejudice in the Workplace

Tuesday, January 16, 2024 | 1:00 – 2:00 pm Pacific
1 hour Elimination of Bias credit (pending approval)Continue Reading California AI CLE Series

What Canadian Employers Need to Know to Ring in 2024

In 2023, we helped Canadian employers overcome a host of new challenges across the employment law landscape. Many companies started the year with difficult cost-cutting decisions and hybrid work challenges. We’ve worked hard to keep our clients ahead of the curve on these issues, as well

Special thanks to our Baker McKenzie speakers Pamela Church, Teisha Johnson, Cyrus Vance, Elizabeth Roper, Laura Estrada Vasquez, Joshua Wolkoff and Industry Experts, Alexandra Lopez, Privacy Counsel, Calix, Una Kang, VP and Associate General Counsel, Wolters Kluwer, and Pamela Weinstock, Managing Counsel, Intellectual Property, Tiffany & Co.

In 2023, we helped US employers overcome a host of new challenges across the employment law landscape. Many companies started the year with difficult cost-cutting decisions and hybrid work challenges. More recently, employers faced challenges around intense political discourse boiling over in the workplace. We’ve worked hard to keep our clients ahead of the curve on these

On October 30, 2023, President Biden issued a 63-page Executive Order to define the trajectory of artificial intelligence adoption, governance and usage within the United States government. The Executive Order outlines eight guiding principles and priorities for US federal agencies to adhere to as they adopt, govern and use AI. While safety and security are predictably high on the list, so too is a desire to make America a leader in the AI industry including AI development by the federal government. While executive orders are not a statute or regulation and do not require confirmation by Congress, they are binding and can have the force of law, usually based on existing statutory powers.

Instruction to Federal Agencies and Impact on Non-Governmental Entities

The Order directs a majority of federal agencies to address AI’s specific implications for their sectors, setting varied timelines ranging from 30 to 365 days for each applicable agency to implement specific requirements set forth in the Order.

The actions required of the federal agencies will impact non-government entities in a number of ways, because agencies will seek to impose contractual obligations to implement provisions of the Order or invoke statutory powers under the Defense Production Act for the national defense and the protection of critical infrastructure, including: (i) introducing reporting and other obligations for technology providers (both foundational model providers and IaaS providers); (ii) adding requirements for entities that work with the federal government in a contracting capacity; and (iii) influencing overall AI policy development.Continue Reading Biden’s Wide-Ranging Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence Sets Stage For Regulation, Investment, Oversight and Accountability

With special thanks to Danielle Benecke and Ben Allgrove for their contributions.

Baker McKenzie recently hosted industry leaders from Anthropic, Google Cloud and OpenAI in Palo Alto to discuss how in-house legal counsel can best reckon with the transformative power of GenAI.

Baker McKenzie partners joined the panel, sharing insights from their vantage point

In Raines v. U.S. Healthworks Medical Group, the California Supreme Court expanded the definition of an “employer” under the state’s discrimination statute to include certain third-party business entities that perform employment-related functions on behalf of employers. These agents may now be deemed “employers” such that they can be directly liable for employment discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act for certain activities that they carry out on behalf of employers.

Overview of Raines

The Raines‘ plaintiffs were job applicants who received offers of employment that were conditioned on the successful completion of pre-employment medical screenings conducted by a third-party company that used automated decision-making. Plaintiffs alleged that the screening form contained intrusive questions regarding their medical history that violated FEHA. They brought claims against their employers, as well as the third-party provider that conducted the medical screening. The question for the Court was whether business entities acting as agents of an employer, can be considered “employers” under FEHA and held directly liable for FEHA violations caused by their actions.

The Court examined the plain language in FEHA’s definition of “employer” and concluded that the definition did indeed encompass third-party corporate agents like the medical provider in his case. FEHA defines an employer as “any person regularly employing five or more persons, or any person acting as an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly.” Here, the Court reasoned, recognizing the medical provider as an agent of the employer extended liability to the company most directly responsible for the FEHA violation.Continue Reading Automated Decision-Making and AI: California Expands FEHA Liability to Include Third-Party Business Agents of Employers