More than 800 New Laws added to California
Lead bullets: A controversial law banning lead hunting ammunition will be phased in statewide by 2019 in an effort to protect wildlife from ingesting the toxic metal.
Trust Act: State and local law enforcement agencies will no longer be allowed to detain undocumented residents solely based on their immigration status, unless they have been convicted or charged with serious or violent crimes.
Domestic workers: Nannies and caregivers will receive overtime pay for working more than nine hours a day or 45 hours a week under a law billed as the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
Minimum wage: Minimum-wage workers will see their hourly pay rise from $8 to $9 beginning July 1, with another $1-per-hour increase in 2016.
Abortion access: Nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants will be allowed to perform first trimester abortions under a bill to expand access for women seeking the procedure.
Juvenile offenders: Minors prosecuted and convicted as adults for serious crimes will be given a second chance at freedom under a new parole hearing process that allows their cases to be reviewed after serving at least 15 years of their prison sentence.
Wrongful convictions: Those wrongfully convicted in California will find it easier and less expensive to pursue a claim for compensation. Under state law, those who have been exonerated are eligible for $100 for each day they were incarcerated.
Taped confessions: Law enforcement officials will be required to videotape key interviews with minors accused of homicide in hopes of preventing coerced confessions.
Past crimes: State and local governments will no longer ask job applicants on initial applications about past criminal convictions until determining whether the person meets minimum qualifications. The law takes effect July 1 and exempts some agencies, such as law enforcement.
Undocumented drivers: The Department of Motor Vehicles is drafting new regulations and preparing to process applications from undocumented immigrants eligible to drive on California roadways sometime on or before Jan. 1, 2015. The DMV estimates 1.4 million undocumented immigrants could apply for driver’s licenses over the next three years once the program is implemented.
Undocumented lawyers: The state’s high court can license qualified lawyers regardless of their immigration status.
Teen texters: Anyone under 18 years of age can no longer use hands-free technology to send or receive text messages while driving. Texting the old-fashioned way was outlawed in 2009.
Home fixes: Homeowners whose properties were built before 1994 will be required to install water-conserving plumbing fixtures, such as toilets or faucets, as a condition for receiving a building permit this year for construction on single-family homes. Senate Bill 407 was passed in 2009, but parts related to single-family homes go into effect Wednesday.
Shutterbugs: Paparazzi will have new restrictions for photographing the children of celebrities under a law that expands the current anti-harassment protections to include recording or photographing a child without consent in a way that causes substantial emotional distress.
Big cats: Mountain lions will receive additional protections requiring California Department of Fish and Wildlife wardens to relocate the animals and use lethal measures only when immediate death or harm is anticipated. The law was signed in response to outrage in Half Moon Bay in 2012 when wardens shot two orphaned 4-month-old mountain lion cubs.
Drilling rules: California will begin developing rules to regulate the oil drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and study its risks. The measure drew opposition from oil companies and divided environmentalists, some of whom demanded a fracking moratorium. The rules and regulations are required to be adopted by Jan. 1, 2015.
Urban farming: Owners of vacant or blighted properties can be given a tax break for allowing farming on their land if the property is solely used for agriculture in an urban area with a population of 250,000 or more.
New California Laws
Employment Credit Check Law
Employers can no longer request credit reports for Californians unless they are working or seeking work in a financial institution, law enforcement or the state Justice Department.
The law also exempts anyone who:
(1) has access to people’s bank or credit card account information, SSN number and date of birth,
(2) has access to an employer’s proprietary information or trade secrets, (3) signs a check, credit card, financial contract, or transfers money for an employer,
(4) has access to more than $10,000 cash, or (5) is a manager in ‘certain industries’. (Law now in effect)
Teens Get Online ‘Eraser Button’ With New California Law
California teens get an online “eraser button” under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.
The law makes California the first state to require websites to allow people younger than 18 to remove their own postings on that website, and to clearly inform minors how to do so.
“Kids and teens frequently self-reveal before they self-reflect,” Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, told The Huffington Post. “In today’s digital age, mistakes can stay with and haunt kids for their entire life. This bill is a big step forward for privacy rights, especially since California has more tech companies than any other state.”
The law is meant to help protect teens from bullying, embarrassment and harm to job and college applications from online posts they later regret. In a 2012 Kaplan survey of college admissions counselors, nearly a quarter said they checked out applicants’ social networking. Of those counselors, 35 percent said what they found — including included vulgarities, alcohol consumption and “illegal activities” — negatively affected applicants’ admissions chances.
Major social media sites — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine — already allow users of any age to delete their posts, including photos and comments. California’s “eraser button” law will require this policy for all websites with users in the state.
New DUI Law
Section 23579 has been added to the California Vehicle Code, which authorizes courts to revoke a driver’s license for 10 years if a person is convicted of three or more DUIs. Motorists may apply for reinstatement of their license with the DMV after five years, if the driver installs an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicle. (Law now in effect)
California Workers Compensation Reform Law
SB 863 aims to reduce workers compensation costs for businesses in California while increasing benefits to employees injured on the job. Read, California Workers Compensation Reform Lawfor more. (Law effective January 1, 2013.)
Unemployment Insurance: Overpayment/Insurance: AB 1845 provides that the Employment Development Dept. (EDD) can deny reimbursement to an employer for any overpayments made to its unemployment insurance reserve accounts if EDD determines that the overpayment resulted from an employer’s failure to respond to or provide adequate information to EDD.
AB 2674 Amends Labor Code Section 119.5, relating to Inspection and Retention of Personal Records. The new law makes several significant changes, including the following areas: (1) who has the right to inspect or request copies of personnel files; (2) any deadline for providing access to files; (3) where and how records must be made available; (4) an employer’s obligations to retain files; and (5) penalties for failure to comply. If an employee asks for an employer-provided form to make the inspection request, the employer must provide he employee with such a form. By January 1, 2013, HR California members will have access to form created for this purpose.
(MORE TO COME…)