30 New California Laws Effective New Year’s Day 2020


Effective 01/01/2020:

  1. Sexual Harassment Training (SB-1343):
    Employers must provide sexual harassment training to employees. At least two hours of training are required for supervisory employees, and one hour is required for non-supervisory employees. Training must be held every two years.
  2. More Protections for Renters (AB-1482):
    Landlords can only increase rents by 5% plus inflation, although the law doesn’t cover housing built more than 15 years ago. AB-1482 also requires landlords to compensate tenants who are evicted without “just cause”.
  3. Worker Status (AB-5):
    This law limits the use of classifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees. It impacts companies such as Uber and Lyft, freelance journalists, truck drivers, software companies and several other industries, but exempts cosmetologists, real estate agents, health care professionals, lawyers and commercial fisherman.
  4. Hairstyles in the Workplace (SB-188):
    Workplaces and schools cannot discriminate against a person based on their hairstyle. Hairstyles that are now protected include braids, locks and twists.
  5. Smoking Banned at State Parks, Beaches (SB-8):
    Smoking and vaping will be illegal at all of California’s state parks and beaches. SB-8 also bans throwing away cigarettes and cigars, and anyone caught violating the law will be required to pay a $25 fine.
  6. California Consumer Privacy Act (SB-1121):
    Businesses that operate in California will have to disclose what personal information they have and must delete the information upon request. Businesses will have 45 days to comply with requests, but also can take a 45-day extension.
  7. Changes to the Foster Care System (AB-1061):
    Social workers will be required to develop plans with foster families to avoid abrupt placement changes. If a foster parent does request a placement change, social workers and probation officers must tell the children 14 days before they’re relocated.
  8. Consumer Loans’ Interest Rates are Capped (AB-539):
    The law caps the interest rates of consumer loans to discourage predatory lending. Interest rates of consumer loans between $2,500 and $9,999 will be capped at 36% above the Federal Reserve’s main interest rates.
  9. Pot Retailers can Donate Products to Medicinal Users (SB-34):
    Retailers can donate medical marijuana to low-income users without additional taxation. The law still prohibits retailers from giving away pot to promote their business.
  10. Mandatory Arbitration Agreements are Banned (AB-51):
    Mandatory arbitration agreements require people to resolve legal conflicts with an arbitrator instead of the court system. The new law prevents anyone, including employers, from making employees or applicants sign the agreement.
  11. More Time to Report Childhood Sexual Assault (AB-218):
    The statute of limitations to report childhood sexual assault will be suspended for three years. The law allows adults who survived abuse to file suits if they’re under 40 years old, or if they can connect the assault to a psychological injury or illness in the past five years.
  12. Domestic Partners (SB-30):
    The law changes the definition of a domestic partnership to include heterosexual couples. It also removes the age restriction of 62.
  13. Minimum Wage Increase (SB-3):
    California’s minimum wage increases to $12 per hour for employers with 26 or less employees and $13 per hour for employers with more than 26 employees. The law does not affect cities who already require a minimum wage of $15 per hour.
  14. Displaying Religious Items (SB-652):
    The law allows renters and homeowners to place religious symbols on entry doors, despite previous restrictions from property managers and homeowner’s associations.
  15. Healthcare for Young Adult Undocumented Immigrants (SB-104):
    Undocumented immigrants who are between the age of 19 and 25 will qualify for Medi-Cal.
  16. Accommodations for lactation (SB-142):
    Employers must offer a lactation room near a sink and refrigerator for employees who are nursing. The room cannot be a bathroom or office closet.
  17. Juvenile court (SB-439):
    The law requires law enforcement to release children under the age of 12 to their parents instead of a juvenile detention center. The law only applies to children who have committed nonviolent crimes.
  18. Human Trafficking Training (SB-970):
    Hotels and motel owners must provide employees at least 20 minutes of training to recognize human trafficking. Training must occur every two years.
  19. Makeup Can’t be Tested on Animals (SB-1249):
    Cosmetics that have been tested on animals won’t be sold legally in California. Makeup sold globally that require animal testing are excluded from the law.
  20. Planned power outages (SB-167):
    Electrical companies, such as PG&E, will be required to create a three-year wildfire mitigation plan that must be approved by the Wildfire Safety Division. Among other criteria, the plan must include strategies to prevent wildfires and how to provide electricity to customers who have medical conditions.
  21. More Rights for Transgender Kids in Foster Care (AB-2119):
    Foster care systems must provide transgender children with medical and mental health care, including any care related to their transition.
  22. Wildfire Forecast and Threat Intelligence Integration Center (SB-209):
    The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Office of Emergency Services are required to create and lead the Wildfire Forecast and Threat Intelligence Integration Center. The law requires the center to develop a forecast for wildfires, gather information and coordinate emergency planning.
  23. Housing Discrimination (SB-222):
    This law, protects veterans and members of the military from housing discrimination.
  24. Paid Family Leave (SB-83):
    New parents will have more time to care for their child. Benefits under Paid Family Leave will increase from six weeks to eight weeks
  25. School Suspensions (SB-419):
    Students in elementary school can’t be so easily suspended for causing trouble at school. The law bans schools from suspending students in grades 4-8 for disrupting school activities or defying teachers and administrators. Students in grades K-3 already have this protection. High school students must wait until 2025 for the same benefit.
  26. Dog Areas (AB-1762):
    The California Department of Parks and Recreation will establish a comprehensive list of state parks that allow dogs, including the specific areas that allow dogs and the total miles of trails that are open to dogs.
  27. Tree Trimming (AB 247):
    Gives the California Public Utilities Commission more oversight over tree trimming efforts by utilities. Power companies would have to submit timely reports on their brush and tree trimming work.
  28. Peace Officer Use of Deadly Force (AB 392):
    This new law revises the standards for use of deadly force by peace officers. The use of deadly force by a peace officer is justifiable when the officer reasonably believes it is necessary. Section 835a of the Penal Code amends the reasonable force standard to “objectively reasonable force.”
  29. Transportation/omnibus bill/amends:
    Section 34621 of the California Vehicle Code allowing motor carriers of property to continue operating for 30 days past their permit expiration date, under specified circumstances. This legislation also provided for an amendment to Section 23229 CVC. California law will now prohibit the consumption of cannabis, in any manner, by passengers in a bus, taxicab, pedicab, limousine, housecars, or camper. This exemption is now only applicable to alcoholic beverages consumed by passengers in these types of vehicles.
  30. Law enforcement:  Use of Deadly Force:  Training: Policies (SB-230):   
    With the enactment of AB 392, this new law requires law enforcement agencies to rewrite use of force policy and provide mandatory training to all peace officers in order to comply with the new law.

California Legislative Information

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