New California Laws in 2019

Learn about the new 2019 laws in California

Let’s be clear: plastic straws have not been outlawed in California. However, as of January 1, 2019, restaurants (with the exception of fast food) may not provide you with a plastic straw unless you specifically ask for one. In addition, all restaurants must provide a healthy drink, such as milk or water, as the default beverage in a child meal.

As usual, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Below is a list of the laws implemented at the beginning of 2019, categorized by importance to our clients.

Small Business Regulations

  • Street vendors are free to sell on California streets, but are subject to regulation if they’re in violation of health, safety or public welfare standards. (Read Bill)

Corporate Business Regulations

  • If an employer is required to obtain information about a conviction, or a job applicant would be required to have a firearm, employers may ask the applicant about particular convictions regardless of whether they have been expunged, are sealed, eradicated or dismissed. (Read Bill)
  • Employers may not force any employee to sign a waiver or non-disclosure agreement in order for the employee to be hired, earn a raise or get promoted. (Read Bill)
  • Claimants in sexual harassment suits can choose to keep their name private, while employers may no longer secretly settle or hide factual information in regard to sexual harassment or discrimination claims. (Read Bill)
  • Employees are protected from defamation lawsuits when an allegation of sexual misconduct is based on credible evidence or without malice. (Read Bill)
  • Publicly held corporations must have at least one female on their board of directors by the close of 2019. (Read Bill)
  • Companies must make a reasonable effort to provide a room that is not a bathroom for breastfeeding. (Read Bill)

Juvenile Law

  • Minimum age for prosecution in juvenile court is now 12, except in the case of murder or rape. (Read Bill)
  • No child under the age of 16 may be tried as an adult or sent to prison. (Read Bill)

Social Policies

  • An “X” will appear on driver licenses for those who do not identify as male or female. (Read Bill)
  • Breeding of cats, dogs and rabbits is now prohibited in pet stores. (Read Bill)
  • Students are free to wear religious and cultural adornments during graduation ceremonies. (Read Bill)

Law Enforcement

  • Police must release all body camera footage to the public within 45 days of an assault or death at the hands of an officer. (Read Bill)
  • Anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence is now prohibited from possessing a firearm for life. (Read Bill)
  • Licensed firearm dealers may not sell long guns (rifles or shotguns) to anyone under the age of 21, except when that person is in law enforcement or the military. (Read Bill)
  • Ammunition and bullet drums may now be confiscated along with the weapon. (Read Bill)

Personal and Public Safety

  • Gun owners must participate in eight hours of proficiency training prior to receiving a concealed carry license. (Read Bill)
  • Driver’s found guilty of DUI must install a temporary breathalyzer in their car. (Read Bill)

If you would like to know more about these, or any laws not listed above, visit California Legislative Information.

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