New California Laws In Effect
As of January 1, 2019, a variety of new California laws have taken effect. Numbering in the hundreds, they deal with everything from workplace issues to public safety and environmental conservation, to how your Los Angeles personal injury attorney deals with your case. They include the following:
Criminal Justice/Public Safety
- Juvenile law: The minimum age for prosecuting a juvenile is now 12 years, per Senate Bill 439. Also, a defendant under the age of 16 cannot be tried as an adult (Senate Bill 1391).
- Police Transparency: Data from officers’ body cameras and audio recorders must be available following an incident that caused injury or death (Assembly Bill 748). With Senate Bill 1421, the public can now access police records if excess force, dishonesty, or sexual misconduct are suspected.
- Drunk Driving: Under Senate Bill 1046, Californians convicted of a DUI must install breathalyzers (ignition interlock devices) in order to reinstate their licenses.
The following gun control laws have gone into effect:
- Senate Bill 1100: Individuals under 21 cannot purchase a rifle, shotgun, or other long gun.
- Senate Bill 1200: Obtaining a Firearms Violence Restraining Order no longer requires a fee; ammunition and bullet drums can now be confiscated.
- Assembly Bill 2103: At least 8 hours of training, plus a proficiency and safety demonstration, are required to obtain a concealed carry license.
- Assembly Bill 3129: A gun owner convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence is forbidden to possess a firearm for life.
Senate Bill 1412 allows an employer to ask an applicant about a prior conviction, regardless of its status. Conviction information can be obtained if the job involves using a firearm, and if the person is prohibited by law to seek that position. The law also prohibits hiring applicants with a particular conviction, regardless of status.
Under Assembly Bill 2770, people who file a sexual harassment allegation are protected against the threat of defamation lawsuits.
Other workplace laws now provision:
- Corporations to have at least one female on the Board of Directors.
- Agricultural workers to receive overtime payments and salary increases.
- Street vendor protection, along with regulatory oversight.
- Non-restroom workplace accommodations for breastfeeding.
- Employers can’t force workers to sign agreements to release them from claims.
Environment and Health
Restaurants can only provide a plastic straw if a customer asks for one. Food establishments with child meals must provide water, milk, or other “healthy” beverages by default. Another law enables pets to be sold only through animal shelters or rescue groups. A state law also limits use of refrigeration chemicals associated with climate change.
Imitating a real person online to sell a product or influence an election is now illegal. California’s own net neutrality rules, preventing internet service providers from altering traffic speed or blocking content, will begin to take effect.
Driver licenses from the California Department of Motor Vehicles will be issued, by request to those without a traditional gender preference.
State government funds have been allotted to remove trees and brush in fire-prone areas and provide utilities with ways to manage costs of fire-related payments. Laws for homeowners include rules to create defensible space around homes, install backup batteries for garage doors, and for flexibility in using insurance to rebuild houses.
And also by law: Surfing is now the official state sport of California.
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