More than 800 New Laws added to California
California Marijuana Laws
California marijuana laws changed drastically with the decriminalization of possession (under 28 grams) and legalization ofmedical marijuanaunder the Compassionate Use Act (Proposition 215) in 1996. The state’s mairjuana laws were drastically relaxed once again in 2016 after voters approved theAdult Use of Marijuana Act, which was on the ballot as Proposition 64. Under the new law, adults 21 and over may purchase, possess, and consume up to 1 oz. of marijuana in their private residence or in an establishment licensed for marijuana consumption. Adults also will be allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants and keep the herb that is produced, as long as it is done in a secure space not visible to the public.
While most criminal sanctions for marijuana were lifted immediately after the general election, the regulation of businesses, production facilities, and marijuana consumption establishments will be phased in over time. Licenses are scheduled to be granted in Janurary 2018.
Note:State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Medical Marijuana Protections
In order to qualify for the protections afforded by California’s medical cannabis laws, a person must be either a qualified patient or a primary caregiver. A person is considered to be a qualified patient if a physician recommends or approves of their medical use of marijuana. Typically, this means that the doctor will give a written recommendation to the patient as proof of the patient’s status that entitles them to use, possess, and cultivate cannabis.
The legalization of recreational marijuana leaves the medical marijuana laws and regulations intact, while patients with a doctor’s recommendation are exempt from sales tax. (Findlaw.com)
In addition to the“sanctuary state” legislationsigned into law by Governor Brown yesterday, the Governor also signedAB 450 into law. The law is effective January 1, 2018, and requires, among other items, employers to verify that immigration officials have a judicial warrant or subpoena prior to entering the workplace and for employers to provide notice to employees if there has been a request to review the employer’s immigration documents, such as Form I-9s. The new law puts employers in a difficult situation of having to comply with federal immigration law obligations on one hand and state law requirements on the other, with large penalties that could result for violations of either law. This Friday’s Five discusses five key aspects California employers must understand about the new obligations created by AB 450.
1. Employers may not voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter any nonpublic areas of “a place of labor” without a subpoena or judicial warrant.
The new law provides that employers cannot provide voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to “access, review, or obtain the employer’s employee records without a subpoena or judicial warrant.” This prohibition does not apply to I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form and “other documents for which a Notice of Inspection has been provided to the employer.”
2. Employers must give notice to employees of any immigration review of employment records.
Employers are required to post information about any inspections of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records conducted by an immigration agency within 72 hours of receiving notice of the inspection. The notice must be posted in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information to the employee. In addition, the notice must include the following information:
(A)The name of the immigration agency conducting the inspections of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records.
(B)The date that the employer received notice of the inspection.
(C)The nature of the inspection to the extent known.
(D)A copy of the Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms for the inspection to be conducted.
The Labor Commissioner is required to publish a template for employers to use by July 1, 2018.
3. An employer, upon reasonable request, shall provide an “affected employee” a copy of the Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms.
An “affected employee” is an employee identified by the immigration agency inspection results to be “an employee who may lack work authorization, or an employee whose work authorization documents have been identified by the immigration agency inspection to have deficiencies.”
The employer is required to provide the affected employee a copy of the written immigration agency notice that provides the results inspection within 72 hours of after receipt of the notice. In addition, the employer shall also provide written notice of the obligations of the employer and the affected employee arising from the results of the records investigation. The notice needs to relate to the affected employee only and shall be delivered by hand at the workplace if possible and, if hand delivery is not possible, by mail and email, if the email address of the employee is known.
4. Except as otherwise required by federal law, employers cannot reverify the employment eligibility of a current employee at a time or in a manner not required by federal law
Violations of this provision can result in civil penalties up to $10,000.
5. Potential penalties.
Penalties for failure to provide the notices required under the new law are $2,000 up to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 up to $10,000 for each subsequent violation. The penalties will be recovered by the Labor Commissioner.
California- Employer Check Laws
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)