New California Laws for 2019
A new year can bring new resolutions and new perspectives (as well as rash of new members at your local gym!). The new year also means that many new laws passed in the previous year will go into effect. In his last year in office, Governor Jerry Brown signed more than 1,000 bills into California law, many of which went into effect on January 1st 2019. Many of these laws won’t drastically change your way of life but it’s important to stay informed to insure you’re not breaking any new laws. Laws regarding crime, employment, and transportation may affect you or your family.
Crime and Police Conduct
Police Transparency. Assembly Bill 748 mandates that images and recordings from police body cams or other recording devices in police possession or acquired by a police agency to be disclosed to the public within 45 days of an incident where a police shooting or use of excessive force causes death or injury to a civilian. Senate Bill 1421 provides public access to police records in cases involving police use of force, and investigations that confirm a lack of honesty or sexual misconduct in the course of duty.
Domestic Violence. Assembly Bill 3129 prohibits anyone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense from possessing a firearm for the rest of their lives.
Drunk Driving. Senate Bill 1046 requires all drivers convicted of driving under the influence to temporarily install a breathalyzer device in their car for a period of time before becoming eligible to reinstate their drivers license. Known as an ‘ignition interlock device,’ these devices require that the driver demonstrate they have no alcohol in their system before the vehicle can be operated.
Labor and Employment
Minimum Wage. Senate Bill 3 raises the state minimum wage from $11 to $12 per hour for employees of businesses with more than 25 employees, and from $10.50 to $11 for employees of businesses with 25 or fewer employees.
Overtime for Agricultural Workers. Assembly Bill 1066 requires that agricultural workers receive overtime payment in their salary calculations. The law applies only to employers who hire more than 25 employees.
Employee Records. Senate Bill 1252 allows employees to request a personal copy of their employment file from their employer.
Nondisparagement Agreements. Senate Bill 1300 prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign a nondisparagement agreement as a condition of employment, or of receiving a bonus or raise. In other words, employers cannot force employees to waive their rights to file claims, for example for sexual harassment, as a condition of employment or compensation. Employees may still voluntarily elect to waive their rights.
Sexual Harassment. Assembly Bill 2270 protects employees and former employees from retaliation in the form of defamation lawsuits if they file a sexual harassment claim with their employer. In order to qualify for these protections, the claim must be based on credible evidence and without malice. Senate Bill 820 bans secret settlements or nondisclosure agreements in cases involving allegations of sexual harassment, assault, or discrimination. It further grants victims in these cases the right to keep their names private.
Scooters. Assembly Bill 2989 allows local governments to raise the speed limit for adults riding motorized scooters on streets up to 35 miles per hour without a helmet.
Helmets. Assembly Bill 3077 requires minors under age 18 to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, scooter, skateboard, or skates. Violators will be subject to a citation.
Bicycle Accidents. Assembly Bill 1755 provides that bicyclists who leave the scene of an accident in which someone was injured or died could be charged with felony hit-and-run.
You Need an Experienced California Lawyer
Laws are changing all the time, and only an experienced California attorney will have the training and knowledge required to keep up with the ever-shifting legal terrain. If you are facing a legal challenge, whether personal injury workers’ compensation or sexual harassment, you need The Dominguez Firm on your side. We have helped thousands of clients around Southern California protect their rights and achieve justice. Call our offices today at 800-818-1818, and find out how we can help you.