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California Governor Signs New Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence

11 Sep


California Governor Signs New Exe

Update Applicable to:

The executive order does not immediately affect private sector employers, although there will be future spillover impact on private businesses, as the Fisher Phillips law firm describes.

What happened?

In a significant development on Wednesday morning, September 6, Governor Gavin Newsom officially enacted Executive Order N-12-23, a comprehensive directive mandating that state agencies thoroughly assess the potential risks AI may pose to the security and privacy of California residents. Additionally, it grants state employees the authorization to engage in experimentation with AI tools and explore their integration into the various facets of the state’s operations.

What are the details?

The Governor’s executive order outlines a comprehensive plan to deploy GenAI (General Artificial Intelligence) ethically and responsibly throughout California’s state government while safeguarding against potential harms and maintaining the state’s position as a global AI leader. Key provisions include:

  1. Risk-Analysis Report: State agencies and departments are directed to collaboratively assess the risks and vulnerabilities posed by GenAI to California’s critical energy infrastructure, emphasizing the need for careful analysis.
  2. Procurement Blueprint: Guidelines will be issued to ensure the safe, ethical, and responsible use of GenAI within the public sector. This blueprint builds upon existing frameworks and encourages agencies to explore GenAI applications that enhance government operations’ efficiency, effectiveness, accessibility, and equity.
  3. Beneficial Uses of GenAI Report: State entities will produce a report highlighting the most significant and advantageous applications of GenAI in California while also addressing potential harms and risks to communities and government employees.
  4. Deployment and Analysis Framework: Guidelines will be developed to help agencies assess the impact of GenAI adoption on vulnerable communities. Infrastructure for GenAI project testing, including approved testing environments or “sandboxes,” will be established.
  5. State Employee Training: To equip the state government workforce with the necessary skills for the GenAI era, agencies will provide training and evaluate the impact of GenAI on government employees.
  6. GenAI Partnership and Symposium: A formal partnership with leading universities, UC Berkeley and Stanford, will be established to assess GenAI’s impacts on California. A joint summit in 2024 will facilitate discussions on GenAI’s effects on the state and its workforce.
  7. Legislative Engagement: A formal engagement process with legislative partners and stakeholders will be initiated to develop policy recommendations for the responsible use of AI, including guidelines, criteria, reports, and training.
  8. Ongoing Evaluation: Periodic assessments of GenAI’s impact on regulatory issues within relevant agencies, departments, or boards will be conducted, with recommended updates as the technology evolves.

This executive order aims to ensure the ethical and responsible integration of GenAI into state government operations while proactively addressing potential challenges and opportunities.

For more information, please see the links below:

Executive Order

News Release


What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the order to understand how subsequent actions taken by state agencies may affect their business and employees in the coming future. The Fisher Phillips law firm has provided a 10-step plan for employers in response to this new order (Link), and they have also made available an A.I. Policy template for employers to use available here: (Link).

cutive Order on Artificial Intelligence

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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