Jan, 2018 Blog Posts

Ready or Not, Here They Come!

Jan 12, 2018

2018.jpgIf history has taught us anything, a new year always brings with it new laws.  2018 is no exception as is evident by the 900+ new laws becoming effective this year.  While there is not enough room to examine each and every new law, following are some of the big ones (or ones we at the RCLL get questions about more often):

Assembly Bill ("AB") 168 which holds that the salary history of job applicants can only be disclosed voluntarily (i.e. you don't have to tell a perspective employer what you were paid on your last job).

AB 1008 bans the use of the box on applications that asks about a person's criminal conviction history.  This is helpful if you've only been convicted of a misdemeanor but employers can still run a background check.  What this means is that even if there is no box on the application, if the employer runs a background check and finds a conviction for anything, they can still deny you employment.  So, if you want to secure a position your best bet might be full disclosure, anyway.

Senate Bill ("SB") 450, which was passed in 2016, does away with neighborhood polling places and replaces them with elections conducted primarily by mail.  What this means is that every registered voter will receive a ballot by mail.  It used to be you had to opt to have a mailed ballot.  No longer the case.  Now, persons can either mail their ballots or drop them off at designated locations up to 10 days before an election.

Under SB 63, small businesses with between 20 and 49 employees are now guaranteed up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave within the first year of their child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement.  Note: this is UNPAID leave (meaning that even though your employer can't fire you if you stay home to help with your new kid, your employer doesn't have to pay you during that time).

To help fund affordable housing, SB 2 adds a fee of $75 to $225 on real estate transactions.  Want to buy a home in the future?  You're going to have to pony up another tax of upwards $225.  That doesn't seem like a lot but when you factor in all the other fees and taxes associated with home buying, this can be the one that breaks the proverbial camel's back (and cause you to maybe not buy a home).

SB 54 makes California a “sanctuary state.” Basically, officers cannot inquire about someone’s immigration status or detain them on a hold request from the federal government, unless they have been convicted of one of more than 800 crimes.

AB 1127 requires state and local agencies, as well as public venues such as movie theaters, grocery stores, sports arenas and restaurants, to provide at least one diaper-changing station accessible to women and men.  While this may have women cheering around the state, guys probably not so much.  I mean, I remember having to change diapers and there were not a few times I wished I had a gas mask.  Hey - maybe that should be an amendment to the bill - requiring all diaper changing stations to include gas masks.  Now that's a bill I could get behind.

AB 830 eliminates the high school exit exam.  The purpose of this bill is to remedy the fact that persons who can't read or do basic arithmetic can still get a high school diploma.  I remember doing this exam when I was in high school.  A real pain it was but it was not all that difficult.  Of course, if you don't know how to read or do basic arithmetic, then maybe this bill is for you.  Of course, if you can't read or do simple arithmetic, then a basic high school diploma isn't going to help you get a job, anyway.

Under AB 725, someone convicted of a hate crime will lose their right to possess a gun for 10 years.

AB 390 eliminates the penalty for entering a crosswalk after a “Don’t Walk” symbol appears, as long as there is a countdown that indicates how much time is left for pedestrians to cross.  Personally, I never knew this was wrong.  I mean, it's like the yellow "caution" light.  Until the lights red, it's a free-for-all, right?  Guess not.

AB 64 amended the Adult Use of Marijuana Act to permit adults 21 and older can buy up to an ounce of weed and up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrates from "permitted" stores.  A "permitted" store is one that has paid the tax to sell weed.  Those who are found to be selling weed without a license to do so face six months in jail and $500 in fines.

Under SB 1 drivers will pay between $25 and $175 more for to register their vehicle through the DMV.

SB 65 prohibits drivers from smoking or ingesting marijuana or marijuana products while driving or riding as a passenger in a vehicle.

Under SB 3, the minimum wage will increase to $11 an hour, beginning Jan. 1.  Under the bill, minimum wage went up to $10.50 an hour in 2017 and will go up again to $12 per hour in 2019. It will increase $1 each year to $15 in 2022. However, Gov. Jerry Brown can halt the increase if there is a negative job growth (and anyone who has been following this, this will indeed occur since it has already affected how many hours small business give to employees resulting in lower salaries despite higher per hour wages).

Category: Current Events

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