As the calendar turns to 2024, California embarks on a new era with a suite of new laws that will significantly impact the lives of its residents. At Deldar Legal, we understand how challenging it can be to keep up with these changes. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing clear, expert guidance on what these new California laws mean for you!
Whether it’s changes in workers’ rights, housing regulations, health policies, public safety measures, or consumer protections, our legal expertise can help illuminate the path forward in this new legal landscape. Our deep dive into the new California laws will provide you with the insights you need to navigate these changes confidently.
Minimum Wage Increases – Starting this year, California’s minimum wage will rise to $16 an hour due to a law linking the minimum wage to inflation. This increase is just the beginning. Come April, fast-food workers will see a more substantial increase, with AB 1228 setting their minimum wage at $20 an hour. Following this, SB 525 introduces staged increases for some healthcare workers, aiming for a $25 minimum wage across the industry by 2033.
Cannabis Use Protections – Two critical new California laws, SB 700 and AB 2188, mark a significant shift in employment practices related to cannabis use. SB 700 prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s past cannabis use. Similarly, AB 2188 ensures that workers are not discriminated against based on cannabis use outside of work hours and away from the workplace. Notably, these protections do not extend to those in building and construction trades, nor to federal workers, who remain exempt.
Employee Rights – Two additional laws, SB 497 and SB 616, are set to strengthen employee rights further. SB 497, known as the Equal Pay and Anti-Retaliation Act, makes it easier for employees to establish retaliation claims against their employer. This law is a significant step towards ensuring fair treatment in the workplace. Meanwhile, SB 616 mandates that employers allow all workers, both hourly and salaried, to earn a minimum of five paid sick days per year.
Changes In Security Deposits – Starting in July 2024, AB 12 introduces a critical change for tenants and landlords alike. This new regulation prohibits landlords from charging more than one month’s rent for a security deposit. This change aims to make housing more accessible and affordable, reducing the upfront financial burden on tenants. It’s a significant shift in rental agreements, and understanding its implications is crucial for both parties in a leasing transaction.
Places Of Worship – SB 4 marks a transformative move in the realm of housing development. This law permits places of worship or independent higher education institutions to “by right” build housing development projects on their property. This provision opens new avenues for housing development, potentially easing the housing crisis by allowing these institutions to contribute to the housing supply. It’s a progressive step that could reshape the housing landscape, particularly in densely populated areas or regions with limited housing availability.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade almost two years still has California legislators signing new protections into law for people receiving and performing those kind of services.
Legal Protections For Healthcare Providers – SB 345 has been passed to set legal protections for healthcare providers. This law particularly focuses on those who mail abortion pills or gender-affirming prescriptions out of state. It’s a significant step in safeguarding reproductive rights and ensuring access to essential health care across state lines.
Expansion Of Abortion Procedures – SB 385 allows physician’s assistants to perform surgical abortions without the direct supervision of a doctor. This law aims to increase the accessibility of abortion services, reflecting California’s commitment to reproductive rights and healthcare autonomy.
Time Off For Reproductive Loss – Recognizing the emotional and physical toll of reproductive loss, SB 848 requires employers to provide five days of time off for workers who have experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth, unsuccessful embryo transfer, insemination, or adoption. This compassionate law acknowledges the need for recovery and mourning following such losses.
Addressing Severe Mental Illness – SB 43 is a critical law that makes it easier for counties to place individuals with severe mental illness into medical treatment or temporary psychiatric holds. The law expands the criteria for involuntary holds to include those addicted to drugs or alcohol or those unable to keep themselves safe. This expansion is a response to the growing need for comprehensive mental health interventions and support.
Public Safety Laws
Gun Buyers & Carriers – In the wake of nationwide mass shootings, two new California laws hope to make a difference. SB 2 introduces new restrictions on concealed carry firearm permit holders, while AB 28 imposes an 11% tax on firearms and ammunition. The revenue from this tax will help fund violence prevention programs. These measures signify a proactive approach to gun control and public safety.
New Child Sex & Drug Trafficking Laws – SB 14 now defines child sex trafficking as a serious felony, potentially leading to life imprisonment for repeat offenders. Additionally, Assembly Bill 701 enhances penalties for trafficking over a kilo of fentanyl, reflecting a zero-tolerance stance on these grave offenses.
Childhood Sexual Assault – AB 452 eliminates the statute of limitations for recovering damages for victims of childhood sexual assault occurring on or after January 1, 2024. This law acknowledges the long-lasting impact of such trauma and provides victims with extended avenues for justice.
‘Ebony Alert’ – SB 673 introduces the “Ebony Alert,” a critical system for missing young Black women and children. This initiative underscores the importance of addressing the specific needs of vulnerable communities in public safety strategies.
More Penalties For Hate Symbols – AB 2282 increases criminal penalties for the use of hate symbols like swastikas, nooses, and desecrated crosses in public and private spaces. This law reinforces California’s commitment to combating hate and promoting inclusivity.
Gender-Neutral Toy Sections – AB 1084 mandates that retailers create a gender-neutral section for toys. This progressive move is designed to challenge traditional gender norms and promote inclusivity in children’s products. Retailers will now offer a variety of toys in a non-gender specific area, allowing children and parents more freedom of choice without the influence of gender stereotypes.
Right To Repair Act – The Right to Repair Act, or SB 244, represents a significant step forward in consumer rights. This law requires manufacturers of electronic devices priced over $50 to provide consumers and independent repair shops with the necessary parts, tools, and instructions for device repairs. This legislation empowers consumers to have more options for repairing their devices, potentially reducing costs and extending the lifespan of their electronics.
Eliminating Hidden Fees – Starting in July, SB 478 targets the issue of hidden fees in online services and purchases. This law requires websites to display the actual cost of a service or item upfront, including potential hidden costs. This applies to various sectors, such as hotel or short-term rental stays, event ticket sales, and food delivery services. The objective is to ensure transparency and prevent consumers from being surprised by additional charges at the point of payment.
Following These New California Laws
As we reach the end of our comprehensive overview of the new California laws of 2024, Deldar Legal is here to help. It’s clear that these legislative changes are set to bring a new era of rights, protections, and responsibilities for Californians. From enhancing worker’s rights and reshaping housing policies to enforcing robust public safety measures, these laws touch upon the core aspects of life in California.
Our expert team of attorneys is here to guide you through these changes, providing personalized legal advice and support. We want you to know you have a trusted partner available 24/7 to answer questions when you contact us at (844)335-3271.
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