New laws are in effect in California.
On Jan. 1, laws regarding minimum wage, workplace harassment, driving, public health and safety, transportation and other subjects went into effect.
Below, a look at some of the most relevant laws.
Employment and the Workplace
- SB 3, Minimum Wage Increase: Workers in companies with 25 or fewer employees will have a salary increase of $10.50 to $11. At companies with more than 25 employees, the increase will be $11 to $12. This law was approved in 2016 and will continue until the minimum wage reaches $15.
- AB 1066, Overtime for Agricultural Workers: Under AB 1066, agricultural workers will receive an overtime payment in their salaries. This regulation will slowly increase the wages for extra hours for agricultural employees over a period of four years. Changes begin on Jan. 1, 2019 for employers who hire more than 25 employees.
- SB 946, Street Vendors: The law, passed in 2018, protects the activity of street vendors in the state and allows them to sell on the streets. However, under this measure, local authorities will have the power to establish regulations based on aspects of health, safety and public welfare.
- AB 2770, Protection Against Lawsuits in Cases of Harassment Complaints This new law protects victims of sexual harassment and employers from being sued for defamation by the alleged harasser in cases of a complaint of sexual harassment and while the employer conducts your internal investigation.
- SB 820, Confidentiality Agreements: This measure prohibits confidentiality agreements in cases of sexual harassment, assault and discrimination that are signed as of Jan. 1, 2019, unless the claimant requests the inclusion of the provision.
- SB 1300, Waiver of Legal Claims: This workplace law prohibits employers from forcing new employees or those seeking raises to waive their right to file legal claims. However, employees could still waive those rights as part of an agreement, such as in cases for compensation packages.
- AB 1976, Breastfeeding at Work: This legislation requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a room or place for breastfeeding that is not a bathroom.
Health and the Environment
- AB 1884, Straws at the Customer's Request: California restaurants will only provide straws or plastic straws to customers who request it. Restaurants may receive fines if they do not comply with this legislation.
- SB 1192, Beverages for Children: Restaurants in California may only serve water or milk without flavor in children's meals that combine a food with a drink. Clients can order it if they wish.
- AB 626, Home Cooking as a Microenterprise: Allows cities and counties to authorize and regulate the sale of home-made foods.
- AB 485, Sale of Pets: Prohibits the sale of breeding dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores and requires that these animals be obtained from animal shelters or rescue groups.
- AB 748, Police Transparency: Requires that the images of body cameras on police officers and any other audio recording acquired by a police agency be disclosed to the public. This must be done within 45 days after a police shooting or excessive force causes death or injury to a person.
- SB 1421, Police Transparency: Allows public access to police records in cases of force, as well as investigations that confirmed the lack of honesty in the work or sexual misconduct.
- SB 1391, Juvenile Justice: Requires that juveniles ages 14 and 15 accused of crimes be tried in the juvenile justice system instead of being prosecuted as adults.
- SB 1200, Gun Control: Eliminates fees for requesting a Firearms Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) and adds ammunition and bullet drums to the list of items related to firearms that can be confiscated.
For a look at some of the new DMV laws going into effect in 2019, click here.