The ever prolific California legislature passed over 800 new laws this year. Here are some of the laws that become effective in 2018 relating to employment, housing, and automobiles.
New Employment Laws
In 2018 it will no longer be legal for prospective employers to ask job applicants about their salary history or previous compensation or benefits. Rather, previous salaries of job applicants can only be disclosed voluntarily. Employers are also prohibited from relying on salary history as a factor in determining salary for a new employee. (See Assembly Bill 168.)
In 2018 the California minimum wage increases by 50 cents, to $11 per hour for workers at companies with at least 26 employees, and to $10.50 for those at smaller firms.
Employers will no longer be able to ask job applicants about criminal conviction history, either. (See Assembly Bill 1008.) Those arrested but not convicted of a crime may ask a judge to seal their records, which may help them get hired.
Workers at small businesses with between 20 and 49 employees will be guaranteed up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave within the first year of their child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement. Furthermore, their health insurance must be maintained by the employer during such leave. (Senate Bill 63.)
California will also increase state compensation for workers taking paid leave to temporarily care for a family member, to 60 percent of their regular wages from 55 percent, and up to 70 percent for the lowest earners. (Assembly Bill 908.)
California’s equal pay law will be extended to government jobs. (AB 46.)
New Auto Laws
Owners of gasoline or diesel-fueled cars will pay higher annual registration fees to help pay for road repairs. The fee increase depends on the vehicle’s value and ranges from $25 to $175.
SB 65 prohibits smoking or ingesting marijuana or marijuana products while driving or riding as a passenger in a vehicle. The DMV will assign negligent operator point counts for this violation.
Drivers, such as Uber and Lyft drivers, are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or more when a passenger for hire is in the vehicle at the time of the offense. AB 2687.
Those with outstanding parking penalties and fees will find it easier to obtain or renew a driver license. AB 503.
Applicants in the Disabled Person Parking Placard and Disabled Person License Plate Program will be required to provide proof of true full name and birthdate. SB 611.
New Housing Laws
The new housing laws are intended to address California’s severe housing affordability crisis.
A new fee of $75 to $225 will be levied on real estate transactions, such as refinances. The fees are expected to generate up to $300 million annually for affordable housing projects, homeless assistance, and housing development planning. (Senate Bill 2.)
Senate Bill 35 allows real estate developers to bypass the lengthy, and often expensive, review process for new projects.
What do you think of these new California laws?