New California Laws – 2021 Edition

new california laws 2021 business home health COVID

The calendar has changed once again. Although a new administration has entered the White House and there’s hope that the 2020 chaos is officially in the rear-view mirror, there is still uncertainty in what 2021 has to offer. One thing we can count on, though, is the annual enactment of new California laws.

Due to the pandemic, the number of new laws going into effect on January 1 (372 in all) is the lowest amount since 1967. Here are some highlights of the new California laws that may most effect you, your family and your business.


AB47 –Beginning July 2021, two convictions for texting or talking on the phone while driving will now add a point to your record.

AB1196  – Police officers are no longer allowed to use chokeholds or other restraints that may suffocate a suspect.

AB2717 – A person is now protected from civil or criminal liability If they break a car window to rescue a child.

Youth football leagues can no longer have more than two half-hour full-contact practices per week and medical personnel must be present at all games.


AB979 – By the end of 2021, any publicly-owned company with at least five members on their board must include at least two women, and any board with over six members must have at least three; boards with at least four members must also have two or more directors from underrepresented communities.

AB2017 – Employees may now use sick leave for whatever reason they deem necessary.

SB 973 – Businesses with one hundred or more employees must submit annual pay data based on race, ethnicity and gender.

SB1159 – Employees who contract COVID-19 on the job now have expanded worker’s compensation assistance.

SB1383 – Companies with five or more employees (down from fifty employees) must now allow up to twelve weeks of family leave.

The minimum wage rises $1 to $14 per hour for companies with over twenty-five employees and $13 at companies with twenty-five or less employees.

COVID-19 and Health

AB685 – Businesses will be required to notify employees (and the general public) within a day of any exposure to COVID-19 until 2023.

AB 2537 – Hospitals may be fined up to $25,000 per violation if they fail to maintain at least a three-month stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE).

SB855 – Private insurance companies must cover all medically necessary mental health and substance abuse disorder treatments in full.


Proposition 19 requires inherited property to be used as a primary residence or have its tax value reassessed.


AB376 – Student loan service regulations now require companies to inform borrowers if there are any programs to lower their monthly payments or forgive the debt.

Students who enroll in the fall semester of any California State University will be required to take an ethnic studies course to graduate.


Pet stores may display dogs, cats and rabbits from shelters or rescue groups, but can no longer sell these animals.

Proposition 17 allows felons who have served their time the ability to vote.

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