New Laws That Could Impact You in 2023

A new year brings new laws to California and many cities throughout the state. These laws could impact you in your workplace, while driving or crossing the street. Plus, new licensing requirements for nursing home owners and greater pay transparency for job hunters. Here’s a rundown of the most notable new legislation scheduled to go into effect on January 1st, 2023.

Before we begin, all of us at The Dominguez Firm would like to wish you and your family a safe and healthy New Year. Recently, it was our pleasure to celebrate 35 years of serving the community. We thank everyone for their continued support and trust in us. If you were injured in an accident or had your workplace rights violated, call The Dominguez Firm at (800)818-1818 for a free consultation today.

New Traffic Laws

Jaywalking decriminalized

One of the best known new traffic laws legalizes jaywalking. AB 2147 allows jaywalking as long as it is safe to do so. The new law doesn’t suddenly let pedestrians dart in and out of traffic freely, especially since pedestrian accidents are at an all-time high. Instead, it lets them cross when completely safe to do so. The aim is to stop the police from harassing and ticketing pedestrians who cross when no vehicles are around. The bill’s sponsor Phil Ting cited statistics that show African Americans are unjustly ticketed for jaywalking at a much higher rate compared to other races.

Improving bicycle rider safety

AB 1909 aims to make bike riding safer. One of the most important features of the bill requires drivers to change lanes if safe do so when passing cyclists. This is a vast improvement over the previous traffic law known as the 3-foot rule which allowed drivers only 3 feet of clearance space to pass. This led to some devastating bicycle accidents.

Two other important features of the new law stop cities from requiring bicycle licenses and does away with bans on the fastest electric bikes, legally known as Class 3 e-bikes. Note that the Dept. of Parks and Recreation can still ban them from certain hiking trails and equestrian paths.

Stricter laws for vehicular manslaughter

SB 1472, also known as Ryan’s Law will make it easier for prosecutors to charge drivers with felonies for organized reckless driving that causes injuries and deaths. This law closes a legal loophole that didn’t clearly define reckless driving as it relates to street takeovers or street racing. Attorneys for wealthier defendants were able to evade charges because of this oversight. SB 1472 will make it easier to charge these drivers with vehicular manslaughter and other related felonies by specifically defining what reckless driving during a street takeover or race is.

New Employment Laws

Minimum wage increase

The minimum wage in California has gone up annually since former Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 10 into law in 2016. 2023 will continue that trend. On New Year’s Day, it’s scheduled to go up to $15.50 per hour. It was supposed to be $15 per hour, but a provision in the law allowed for a 50 cent boost due to inflation. Several cities and counties around the Golden State will usher in wage increases that are higher than $15.50. Among them is Los Angeles County, which currently requires employers pay workers at least S16.10 per hour. A county/city list of the latest minimum wages can be found here.

Mandatory salary ranges for job postings

We’ve all been there; you’re job hunting and see countless posts with no salary or even a salary range. That forces you to take a leap of faith when applying. That can mean finding out the job woefully underpays once you receive an offer. Beginning in the new year, that uncertainty is a thing of the past. SB 1162 requires employers with 15 or more employees to post salary ranges for job postings for external applicants. This law extends to third-party postings on job search sites. It also adds to a previous employment law that prohibits potential employers from asking a job candidate about their salary history.

Employers who don’t comply with this new salary and wage requirement can face up to $10,000 in fines.

What’s more, any employer with 100 employees or more must report median and hourly pay rates by job category. This must include a mix of race, ethnicity and gender. Failure to do so will also result in a fine.

Paid family leave benefits will increase

SB 951 will increase paid family leave benefits from 55% of a person’s salary to 60-70% of their salary in 2023. And beginning in 2025, anyone making under $57,000 per year will be qualified to receive up to  70-90% of their income if they need to take paid family leave.

Bereavement leave mandated

AB 1949 is an amendment to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). It requires employers to provide qualifying employees with 5 days of unpaid bereavement leave. Several cities and counties in California already had laws covering this policy, but AB 1949 will officially protect all eligible employees statewide. Prior to it’s passage, employees could be fired for taking even just one day to mourn the death of a loved one.

New Laws Regarding Nursing Homes

Incredibly enough, there were no laws on the books requiring nursing home operators to be licensed in California—until now. Starting on January 1st, 2023, any person who wants to operate a nursing home will need a license before doing so. Previously, a legal loophole allowed facilities to remain open even if the operator had no license or worse, had their request for a license denied. This long overdue reform is a step in the right direction for helping to curb nursing home abuse and mismanagement.

Immigration Status and the Law

And finally, California has moved to make the revelation of a person’s immigration status illegal in criminal court unless deemed admissible by a judge. This change expands on the law that allows undocumented immigrant accident victims to sue for their injuries in civil court without fear of being deported. Senate Bill 836 is meant to protect all immigrants involved in the legal process, regardless of their status.

The Dominguez Firm: 35 Years of Serving the Community

When J.J. Dominguez started his namesake firm 35 years ago, his goal was to provide all members of the community with quality legal representation. Today, his firm’s success proves there is a real need for such services. To date, The Dominguez Firm has won over $1 billion* for its clients across a variety of injury and employment law cases.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident or had your rights violated at work, call The Dominguez Firm for a free consultation at (800) 818-1818 today.