By Haddon Libby
Another year and another set of new laws set to take effect thanks to our legislators in Sacramento.
In 2020, minimum wage increases to $12/hour at businesses with 25 or fewer employees and $13/hour for larger employers. To be considered an exempt employee, you will need to earn more than $54,080 at a large company and $49,920 at a smaller shop.
Employees can no longer be forced into mandatory arbitration language in order to get a job. AB51 ends this practice although it does not apply to any agreements that already exist.
Get use to sexual harassment training at work. SB1343 requires most employers to provide education every two years with the first training session required within six months of hire.
In a law that would make Vidal Sassoon happy, SB188 makes it illegal to discriminate against or ban someone from a job due to their hairstyle.
Lactating mothers need not be relegated to the bathroom stalls for nursing breaks anymore. SB142 requires that employers provide a nicer, private space near the mother’s work area.
Renters should be happy that the state is going to provide rent control protections where none exist. Unless your city has its own rent control rules, retroactive to March 15th of 2019, your rent cannot go up by more than 5% per year plus the rate of inflation with the absolute cap in one year equaling 10%. There are many loopholes with the biggest related to buildings built in the last fifteen years. Those newer buildings are exempt from this law for their first fifteen years.
Landlords and homeowner associations often ban individualization of one’s front door or yard. AB652 protects religious displays like a cross or menorah so long as it is no larger than 26” by 12” in size.
Dog lovers will like that AB1762 requires the California Department of Parks and Recreation to produce a full list of all parks and trails where dogs are allowed.
While at a state parks and beach, you will not be smoking anymore. The penalty for breaking this law is a $25 fine.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) goes into effect January 1st and allows internet users more control over their data. Not only can you find out what data Google or Facebook are collecting on you, but you can reject the sale of that information and require its deletion.
In nine months, AB602 will go into effect and make it illegal to use a person’s likeness in porn without their consent. This legislation was needed as many online sites use “deepfake” porn to drive traffic to their site. Deepfake porn occurs when an image is altered so that the face of one person is placed on the body of another.
In a move that most animal lovers will like, the use of exotic animals like elephants will no longer be allowed at circuses. From now on, circus acts will be limited to dogs, cats and domesticated horses. I believe that this means that the lion taming act will be replaced with kittens chasing laser pointers.
In a law that has the National Rifle Association concerned, AB12 will allow a family member, roommate or law enforcement officer the ability to petition the court to have a person’s gun rights suspended if there is a concern that gun violence might occur.
The statute of limitations on sex assaults is suspended for the next three years. As a result, victims of any age can bring about civil lawsuits from any point in life. At the end of three years, the statute of limitations on these assaults will be five years from the discovery of the assault or until the victim reaches the age of 40, whichever is longer.
SB970 requires hotel and motel operators to train their staff on how to spot human trafficking. Southern Californian and Riverside County have some of the highest levels of human trafficking in the United States.
Haddon Libby is the Founder and Managing Partner of Winslow Drake Investment Management, a fiduciary-only investment management practice. For more information, please visit www.WinslowDrake.com or email hlibby@WinslowDrake.com.