With 2017 winding down, it’s a good time to look ahead at the new laws that go into effect in the new year. Leading up to 2018, we will highlight an assortment of interesting new laws. Our first roundup is a mix of employment, pets, housing, and dinosaurs:
- SB 63: Unlawful employment practice; parental leave – California Businesses with 20 or more employees must now provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid protected leave for new parents (this includes adoptions and foster care). This is an expansion of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
- AB 168: Employers; salary information – Employers cannot rely on an applicant’s salary history information in determining whether to offer employment or what salary to provide. Also, upon reasonable request, the employer must provide a pay scale for the position.
- AB 1008: Employment discrimination; conviction history – This amends the existing California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to state that an employer with 5 or more employees cannot include on any employment application any question regarding an applicant’s conviction history until the applicant has received a conditional offer.
- AB 450: Employment regulation: immigration worksite enforcement actions – Subject to specified exceptions and in accordance with federal requirements, employers or others acting on the employer’s behalf cannot consent to an immigration enforcement agent entering nonpublic areas of a workplace without a judicial warrant, or granting the agent access to employee records without a subpoena or court order.
- SB 396: Employment: gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation – Building on FEHA, this bill requires employers with 50 or more employees to add harassment training dealing with gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
- SB 3: Minimum wage: in-home supportive services: paid sick days – Continues the phase-in of minimum wage rates from the 2016 bill. Minimum wage will be $11/hour for businesses with 26 or more employees, while those with fewer employees continue to pay the current $10.50/hour. For more information, see this page.
- AB 908: Disability compensation: disability insurance – This 2016 bill goes into effect next year and revises the formulas for calculating benefits related to unemployment compensation and family temporary disability insurance for periods of disability from January 1, 2018 to January 1, 2022. It also does away with the 7-day waiting period for these benefits.
Pets, Housing, Vehicles, and Dinosaurs
- AB 1491: Sales of dogs and cats: contracts – All rent-to-own contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2018 that lease or transfer ownership of a dog or cat are against public policy and therefore void. So no leasing pets!
- AB 1137: Housing developments: pet permissibility – Augmenting existing law, under this bill the Department of Housing and Community Development requires certain new housing developments to allow residents to have one or more common household pets, subject to related state laws and local ordinances.
- SB 838: Transportation – Vehicle registration fees on every vehicle or trailer coach go from $43 to $53 starting April 1st.
- SB 20: Vehicles: buses: seatbelts – Buses must maintain seatbelts in good working order starting July 1, 2018.
- Proposition 63: Firearms. Ammunition sales. Initiative statute – Ammunition purchases and transfers must be made in person through a vendor licensed by the Department of Justice.
- AB 7: Firearms: open carry – Carrying an unloaded firearm other than a handgun in a prohibited public place or street is a crime. This bill expands the scope of an existing crime and imposes a state-mandated local program.
- AB 295: Skydiving or sport parachuting operations – This bill adds Tyler’s Law to the already existing State Aeronautics Act, which prohibits parachuting for sport while under the influence. Now, skydiving or sport parachuting operation owners or operators also have a duty to ensure that the parachutist in charge of a tandem jump and the parachute rigger who packs the parachute are in compliance with all federal parachute safety and certification laws.
- AB 1540: State dinosaur: Augustynolophus morrisi – We finally have an official dinosaur! The duck-billed hadrosaur, Augustynolophus morrisi, lived about 66 million years ago and is only found in California. Our dinosaur now joins other state symbols such as the saber-toothed cat (official fossil) and denim (official fabric).