17 New California Laws You Need to Know for 2023
As we head into a new year, enacted legislation will implement new laws for California. These state regulations focus on addressing climate change, sexual harassment, and employment discrimination, among other things.
In 2021 alone, 770 new laws were passed in California. This comprehensive guide lists the 17 new laws that will take effect beginning next year in California. However, the following nine laws are sure to have the biggest impact on personal injury.
Read more about all 17 new California laws below.
Senate Bill 1472: Vehicular manslaughter – Speeding and Reckless Driving
SB 1472 will expand the classification for “gross negligence” as it relates to a vehicular manslaughter crime. Participants in sideshows, racing, or speeding over 100 miles per hour, which results in death, could now be charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.
Assembly Bill 1041: Leaves of Absence
Following the expansion of the California Family Rights Act and Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act, this new law aims to strengthen employees’ leave entitlement.
In particular, the new law adds a “designated person” to the category of permitted family members, including a spouse, child, registered domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling.
Under this amendment, workers can take bereavement leave, and employers can request proof of death for the designated person. Employees can also take time off to care for the designated family member when they request paid sick days.
Workers can take bereavement leave if they have been with their current employer for at least 30 days. The leave also must be taken within three months of the designated person’s death.
Senate Bill 1162: Pay Scales and Pay Data
Under Senate Bill 1162, employers with at least 15 employees must provide each existing employee’s job title and wage rate history upon request. They must also include salary ranges in all job postings to ensure salary transparency and equity.
Companies that fail to comply with this law will face penalties starting at $100 per employee and up to $200 per employee after a subsequent failure.
Businesses with 100 or more employees must also submit these records for inspection by the state commissioner. Salaries should be in line with the upcoming positions to avoid penalties.
Assembly Bill 2000: Motor Vehicle Speed Contests & Exhibitions of Speed
It is now illegal to participate in races, burnouts, speeding, or sideshow activities at parking lots and off-street parking structures. It is also a crime if a person was found to aid or abet the act.
Assembly Bill 1732: Hit-and-Run Incidents – Yellow Alert
A “Yellow Alert” will be activated upon the request of local law enforcement agencies when a fatal hit-and-run crash happens. This alert will be used to allow media outlets to circulate information relating to the crash. It will use the public’s tips/assistance to help responding authorities throughout California investigate ongoing hit-and-run crashes.
Assembly Bill 2188: Employee Discrimination
As per the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, all persons have the right to seek, obtain, and hold employment without harassment or discrimination based on race, religion, medical condition, gender expression, or mental disability, among other conditions.
The new law extends the power of the state to penalize employers who discriminate against job applicants based on their use of cannabis off the job or away from the workplace. However, it exempts certain applicants and employees in positions requiring a federal background investigation or clearance.
Senate Bill 1044: Workplace Safety
Senate Bill 1044 states that employers cannot threaten or take adverse action against any employee for refusing to come to work, leave, or resign if the employee has a reasonable belief that the workplace is unsafe. According to this new law, an emergency condition refers to the situations:
- Disaster or extreme peril caused by natural forces or criminal activity within the workplace
- An order to evacuate a workplace, worker’s home, or school of the employee’s child due to a criminal act or natural disaster.
The bill also does not allow employers to prevent employees from accessing a communications device to seek emergency assistance, communicate with people to confirm their safety, or assess the situation’s safety.
It also requires employees to notify their employers of emergency conditions requiring them to refuse to report to or leave the workplace.
California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA)
As adopted by referendum by the state of California, the CPRA serves as the new comprehensive consumer privacy law. It aims to expand the definition of personal information regarding the protection of individual data.
Among the amendments of this law are that companies are no longer allowed to store or use personal data belonging to their employees. Furthermore, the CPRA expands the breach liability to include unauthorized access to email addresses, passwords, or security questions.
Assembly Bill 2693: COVID-19 Exposure
Under the existing COVID–19 exposure law, employers must notify employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19. AB 2693 will revise these notification requirements by requiring employers to prominently post a notice in all places within the workplace for at least 15 days.
Furthermore, the new law amends all the previous provisions, such as notifying the local public health agency within 48 hours and posting the total number of COVID-19 cases by industry on the company website.
Senate Bill 1126: Cal Savers State Retirement Program
According to the existing Cal Savers Retirement Savings Trust Act, eligible employers must offer their employees a payroll deposit retirement savings arrangement.
Workers can contribute a portion of their salary or wages to a retirement savings program account in the program.
Under the new law, persons or companies with only one employee are now eligible to participate, compared to the existing law that requires at least five workers.
Senate Bill 54: The New California Plastic Law
The new California Plastic Law was recently passed to reduce the harmful effects of plastic pollution. This law states that single-use plastics and packaging must be recyclable by 2032.
The bill’s passage ensures a 25% drop in single-use plastic. This will help curb the effects of the worsening climate crisis.
Senate Bill 1127: Compensation for Injured Workers
While there is an existing law compensating employees injured in the workplace, there is a 90-day time period to accept or reject liability.
But with California’s new law on personal injury for premises liability cases, the law changes. It will only take 75 days to presume that the injury is compensable.
Assembly Bill 1467: Student Safety Against Sexual Assault
Assembly Bill 1467 expands written sexual assault procedures or protocols. It targets students, faculty, and staff who are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. This is applicable anywhere, even outside the school. Furthermore, this new law will allow victims to receive support services.
Assembly Bill 1661: Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
According to Assembly Bill 1661, local agency officials must undergo sexual harassment awareness training. They must take at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training and education. The first has to be completed within six months of taking office, and every two years after that.
Assembly Bill 1775: Occupational Safety for Live Events
Assembly Bill 1775 targets entertainment event contractors and vendors. It requires them to certify that their employees have completed Occupational Safety and Health Administration training. This new law aims to ensure safe working conditions in the entertainment events industry.
Assembly Bill 1909: Bicycles Omnibus Bill
This AB provides increased bicyclist protections similar to the ‘move over or slow down’ law. It’ll require passing vehicles or vehicles overtaking a bicycle in the same direction to move over to an available adjacent traffic lane, or slow down and only pass when it is safe.
Assembly Bill 1946: Electric Bicycles – Safety and Training Program
In conjunction with other traffic safety regulators like the California Office of Traffic Safety, the CHP is tasked with developing statewide safety and training programs for e-bikes. This E-bike training program will launch in September 2023 and will include e-bike riding safety, emergency maneuver skills, rules of the road, and e-bike laws.
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