By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):
California: The new year rings in 2020 with new state laws.
From minimum wages to housing restrictions, here are some of the laws going into effect in 2020 for California:
SB 3: Minimum wages going up:
The minimum wage is increasing in 72 jurisdictions in 2020, with most changes set to begin on Jan. 1.
A total of 21 states and 26 cities and counties – mostly in California – will raise the minimum wage New Year’s Day, with the new rate reaching/exceeding $15 an hour in 17 of those jurisdictions.
AB 9: Employment discrimination:
Employees are now granted up to three years to file any discrimination, harassment or retaliation complaints with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
SB 1343: Sexual harassment training:
Workplaces with 5 or more employees are required to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training within 6 months of being hired.
SB 83: Extending paid leave:
Going into effect July 1, 2020, the law increases paid leave from 6 to 8 weeks for those taking care of a seriously ill family member, or to bond with a new child.
AB 5: Gig worker law:
This new labor law aims to provide new protections for gig economy workers, such as minimum wage, health insurance, and paid sicks days.
It reclassifies some independent contractors as employees.
SB 188: Embracing natural hair:
California is now the first in the United States to ban employers and school officials from discriminating against people based on their natural hair.
The Crown Act now makes it illegal to enforce dress code or grooming policies against hairstyles such as braids, afros, twists and locks.
SB 142: Protections for nursing mothers:
Employers are required to provide nursing mothers with clean and safe lactation rooms, including access to a sink and refrigerator “in close proximity to the employee’s workspace.”
The law also requires the room to be “free of intrusion” and that employers offer breastfeeding mothers breaks dedicated to nursing.
- Criminal Justice:
AB 12: Gun violence restraining orders:
Going into effect Sept. 1, 2020, the law expands who can petition a judge to confiscate someone’s weapons if they believe that person may be violent.
The updated law allows employers, co-workers, and teachers to have that ability.
AB 218: Statute of limitations for childhood sex assaults:
California has suspended the statute of limitations for three years starting Jan. 1, which will give victims of all ages the chance to pursue prosecution.
California is also expanding the statute of limitations for childhood victims of sexual abuse. Victims now have until age 40 (or 5 years from the time the abuse was discovered) to file civil lawsuits.
SB 273: Statute of limitations for domestic violence:
The law extends the statute of limitations to report domestic violence to law enforcement from one year to 5 years.
It applies to domestic violence that happens on or after Jan. 1, 2020 and also applies to crimes for which the statute of limitations was in effect before Jan. 1, 2020 and had not run out.
This law also requires more law enforcement training on de-escalation techniques and interviewing victims in a different location than the suspect.
SB 439: Juvenile hall age:
Minors can now be age 12 to be sent to juvenile hall.
Any child under age 12 would be released to their parent or legal guardian.
This law does not apply to minors who commit murder, rape, or great bodily harm.
- Data privacy:
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – the nation’s toughest privacy law – is now in effect.
It allows California residents to demand that companies disclose data they have collected on them.
If users want that data to be deleted, companies must comply.
Non-California residents can’t request their data be deleted, but rather can read through new terms of service to see what type of information data companies are collecting.
SB 419: School suspension:
Starting next school year, it will be illegal for public schools in California to suspend students in 1st through 5th grade for willfully defying teachers or administrators.
From 2021 through 2025, the law will be temporarily extended to children in grades 6 through 8.
SB 328: Later school start times:
High schools can start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and no sooner than 8 a.m. for middle schoolers.
School districts in California will have a three-year window – until the start of the 2022-23 school year – to implement these schedules for high schools and middle schools.
The new law does not mandate that middle and high schools adhere to a specific bell schedule and does not change the instructional minutes required of schools.
The law does not apply to “zero” periods, which could still be held before the new mandated start-times.
AB 272: Limiting/banning smartphone use in schools:
School boards will have the power to ban devices with the exception of emergencies or other special situations, such as medical reasons.
SB 354: Graduate program grants for Dreamers:
The DREAM Loan Program is now expanded, allowing Dreamers enrolled in programs for a profession or graduate degree at a public university to apply for state-funded grants.
AB 164: Buying firearms:
Any person who is barred from buying a firearm in another state will not be allowed to purchase a firearm in California.
SB 172: Firearm storage:
Any person who owns a firearm that is subsequently taken out of the home by a child or “prohibited person” can be charged with a crime as well as be banned from owning a gun for 10 years.
AB 1669: Price to purchase firearms:
Sales related to firearms will increase $31.19 statewide and will be used for firearms-related regulatory and enforcement activities.
AB 1482: Rent increase cap
The new law aimed at combating the housing crisis in California limits rent increases to 5% each year, plus inflation until Jan. 1, 2030.
The law bans landlords from evicting people for no reason, making it illegal to force people out so they can raise the rent for a new tenant.
The law also applies to rent increases on or after Mar. 15, 2019.
The new law does not apply to housing built within the last 15 years, does not apply to single-family homes except those owned by corporations or real estate investment trusts, and does not cover duplexes where the owner lives in one of the units.
SB 652: Display of religious items:
This law prohibits property owners from stopping the display of religious items on a door or door frame of a home.
SB 1249: Animal testing on cosmetics:
The law bans the import and sale of cosmetics products that include ingredients that were tested on animals or was manufactured through animal testing.
SB 245: Vet adoption:
Under this law, adoption fees for military veterans are waived.
Shelters will confirm a veteran’s eligibility using California’s current “veteran” driver’s license designation.
SB 313: Circus Cruelty Prevention Act:
The use of exotic animals like elephants in circus acts is now banned.
Dogs, cats, and domesticated horses are still allowed in circus performances.
SB 8: Smoking banned at state beaches:
The law bans smoking at all state beaches and parks.
Violators will be fined $25.
It’s also illegal to throw cigarettes or cigars onto state beaches.
SB 167: Public safety power shutoffs:
Utilities like PG&E must create plans to mitigate impacts of PSPS to those with disabilities who require special energy needs, and allow those companies to provide backup resources or financial assistance for resources to those customers.
SB 209: Wildfire warning center:
The creation of the Wildfire Forecast and Threat Intelligence Integration Center by the state Office of Emergency Services and Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is meant to help collect and distribute data, as well as predict and prepare for wildfires utilizing a statewide network.
SB 30: Domestic partnership law:
This law expands the option of a domestic partnership from same-sex couples to heterosexual couples.
Keep in mind that California law treats domestic partners and married people the same for tax purposes, whereas federal law does not recognize domestic partners.
This new law may now allow some couples to avoid the federal “marriage penalty” that results in a higher tax from when two people marry who have the same income.
SB 104: Healthcare for immigrants:
California is the first state to offer Medicaid coverage for low-income adults ages 19 to 25 regardless of immigration status.
More information on any of the law listed here by going to the California Legislative Information website at: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov