Several New Laws Took Effect on January 1

by on January 2, 2019

posted in Legislative Updates,

The Legislature enacted several laws that took effect on January 1, 2019.  The following are some of the noteworthy new laws enacted.


AB 1884: Plastic straws

Dine-in restaurants will be prohibited from giving out single-use plastic straws unless they are requested by a customer. Businesses that don’t comply will be fined $25 a day and up to $300 a year.

SB 1192: Children’s meals

Restaurants with children’s meals can no longer offer sugary drinks, such as juice and soda, as the primary choice. The default option will be milk, water or flavored water with no added sweeteners.

SB 946: Street food vendors

Cities and counties will not be able to ban sidewalk vendors but they can set up a licensing system to regulate them. Vendors who violate local laws can only be punished with a fine or citation, and cannot face criminal charge

SB 1164: Craft distillers

Small-batch craft distilleries can sell whiskey, vodka and other spirits directly to customers without requiring a tour or tasting.

SB 1138: Vegetarian meals

Healthcare facilities and prisons must offer wholesome plant-based meals to patients and inmates. (Good for me if I am ever locked up.)

SB 626: Home food businesses

Home cooks can sell food to the public. The home kitchens must undergo food safety inspections and they must be licensed. The food must be sold directly to consumers, and cannot be part of a delivery service.


Labor Code Section 1182.12: Minimum Wage

The state minimum wage rises from $11 an hour to $12 an hour for employers with 25 or more employees. For small employers, it goes to $11.

AB 1976: Breast milk

Employers must provide an area other than a bathroom for new mothers to pump breast milk. The area must be private and close to the employee’s work area.

SB 1252: Work personnel file

Employees will be able to request a personal copy of their employment file.

SB 826: Women on board of directors

Publicly-traded companies must have at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019 and two or more women in their board of directors by 2021. Fines could go as high as $100,000.

SB 1066: Farm workers

Gives agricultural employees time and a half after 9.5 hours a day or 55 hours a week at employers with 26 or more employees. By 2025, employees will get overtime after 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week.

AB 2282 Fair Pay Act

Under AB 168, employers were prohibited from relying on the salary history information of an applicatant. Employers are allowed to ask applicants about their salary expectations. employer may make a compensation decision based on an employee’s current salary as long as any wage differential resulting from that decision is justified by one or more of the following factors: (1) a seniority system; (2) a merit system; (3) a system that measures earning by quantity or quality of production; or (4) a bona fide factor other than race or ethnicity such as education, training, or experience.

SB 1412 Criminal History

Previously, employers could not ask about or use information about diversion programs or sealed convictions. This bill states that these provisions do not prohibit an employer from asking about a conviction if under federal or state law, (1) the employer is required to obtain this information, (2) the application would be required to possess a firearm in the course of employment, (3) an individual with that conviction is prohibited by law from holding that position sought, (4) the employer is prohibited by law from hiring someone with that conviction (Labor Code 432.7)

SB 2334 State Reporting

Cal/OSHA, the state’s division of occupational health and safety, will now have five years, rather than just six months, to issue citations to employers who fail to accurately record injuries or deaths.


AB 2274: Pet Custody

Judges will decide who gets custody of a family pet during a divorce

AB 485: Pet stores

Pet stores may not sell animals (dogs, cats, rabbits) from breeders. The animals must be obtained from an animal shelter and the store must post the name of the agency where it got the animal.

AB 2215: Pets & Cannabis

Veterinarians will be allowed to discuss the use of cannabis with their clients, but cannot administer it.


AB 2989: Electric scooters

Adults 18 or older will not need to wear a helmet. The new speed increases from 25 to 35 mph, but still still no riding on the sidewalk.

AB 3077: Helmet use by minors

Minors under 18 who are caught riding a bicycle, scooter, skateboard or skates without a helmet will get a citation. Violators can take a safety course to clear the ticket, and show they have a helmet within 120 days of the citation to avoid paying a fine.

AB 1755: Bicycling crashes

Bicyclists could face felony hit-and-run charges if they leave the scene of an accident where someone was injured or killed.

SB 1014: Ride-hailing vehicles

Companies like Uber and Lyft will have to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles and do more to encourage passengers to pool their rides.

AB 2886: Ride-hailing drivers

Ride-hailing apps will be required to provide passengers with the driver’s name, picture, image of the vehicle and license plate number.

AB 516: License plates

Auto dealers will now be required to place a temporary license plate on newly purchased vehicles. This should cut losses of $19 million a year from toll evaders.

SB 1046: DUI offenders

Repeat and first-time DUI offenders will be required to install an ignition interlock device to prevent a person who has been drinking alcohol from driving a vehicle. The device must be installed for 12 to 48 months to restore driving privileges, but the driver will no longer face restrictions to where they can drive.

AB 2717: DUI standard

Deletes criminal penalty for refusing to submit to a BLOOD test. (Vehicle Code Sections 23577, 23578, 23612).

AB 266: HOV lane decals

Vehicles issued green or white decals after January 1, 2017 must apply for a red decal. Red decals expire 1/1/22. Purple decals issued after 1/1/19 will expire on January 1 of the 4th year after the year of issuance.


AB 2685: Habitual truants

Juvenile court judges will no longer have the ability to suspend the driver’s license of a minor who is a habitual truant.

AB 1974: High school diplomas

Public schools can’t withhold high school diplomas for students with past-due bus fares, overdue library books or unpaid uniforms.

AB 3922: Deported students

Retroactively grants high school diplomas to seniors who have been deported.

SB 1391: Teens in prison

Teens under 16 may only be incarcerated in juvenile facilities even if they commit a serious offense.

SB 1053: Claims

This act exampts childhood sexual abuse after 1/1/09 from the Government Claims presentation requirements.


AB 2504: Police officer LGBTQ training

Police officers and dispatchers must undergo special training to better understand the LGBTQ community. The training will teach officers the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, and how to create an inclusive work environment in police departments.

SB 1421: Police officer records

This new law allows inspection of an officer’s record during investigations of police shootings, use of force, sexual misconduct, dishonesty or misconduct by an officer. (Government Code Section 832.7 and 932.8)

AB 2327 Police Officer files

Each agency must make a record of misconduct investigation in the officer’s general file or separate disciplinary file. (Government Code Section 832.12)

AB 2020: Cannabis events

California is loosening its rules on where people can smoke cannabis. Festivals, museums, nightclubs and other venues will be able to host special events where people can purchase and consume cannabis. Currently, only county fairgrounds are allowed to host these special events.

SB 179: Gender of driver’s license

A person applying for a driver’s license or an identification card can choose a gender category of male, female or non-binary. Anyone wishing to change their gender can make an appointment after January 2, 2019.

SB 923 Photo line-up

All agencies should have regulations for photo and live lineups to ensure accurate identification. (Penal Code Section 859.7)

AB 2544 Parking Tickets

City must provide payment plans for indigents for unpaid parking tickets. (Vehicle Code 40220)

AB 748 Recordings

Video or audio recordings of a defined critical incident may be withheld for 45 calendar days if disclosure would substantially interfere with an active investigation. Commences 7/1/19. (Government Code Section 6254)


SB 822: Net neutrality

Internet service providers annot block, slow down or charge to use websites. The new law guarantees equal access to streaming services and websites that require higher bandwidths and prohibits ISPs from exempting their own services from data caps. California has agreed not to enforce the law until a lawsuit challenging the FCC’s decision to reverse Obama era net neutrality rules is resolved in federal court.


SB 100: Green energy

Public utilities must implement a plan to incorporate renewable energy resources. The goal is to generate 60% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2030, and 100% from climate-friendly resources by 2045.

AB 1775 & SB 834: Offshore oil production

Prohibits the California State Lands Commission from approving or renewing leases for the construction of pipelines and docks that could be used to increase the production of oil and natural gas in federal waters.


AB 216: Mail-in ballots

Election departments must now include a SASE envelope for vote-by-mail ballots.

SB 568: Presidential primary

Moves up the 2020 primary to the first Tuesday in March.


SB 1100: Firearm sales to minors

The minimum age to buy a rifle or shotgun increases from 18 to 21 years. The law takes effect on February 1.

AB 2103: Concealed weapons

CCW requires 8 hours of firearms training.

AB 1525: Firearms warning labels

Firearms pachaging must have a warning: WARNING: Firearms must be handled responsibly and securely stored to prevent access by children and other unauthorized users. California has strict laws pertaining to firearms, and you may be fined or imprisoned if you fail to comply with them. Visit the Web site of the California Attorney General at for information on firearm laws applicable to you and how you can comply. Prevent child access by always keeping guns locked away and unloaded when not in use. If you keep a loaded firearm where a child obtains and improperly uses it, you may be fined or sent to prison.


SB 820: Sexual harassment

Forbids companies from requiring a Nondisclosure Agreements in settling sexual and assault incidents.

SB 1300: No more “One Free Grope.”

Statute limits the single incident exception in sexual harassment cases.

SB 224 Greater application

Applies sexual hassment protections not just to bosses and co-workers but also to investors, elected officials, lobbyists, directors and producers.

SB 1343 Training

Requires employers of 5 or more workers to provide sexual harassment training.

AB 2770 Communication

Three types of communication are considered privileged and cannot be used in a defamation claim without a showing of malice (1) reports by an employee to an employer, (2) communication between employer and “interested persons”, (3) statements made to prospective employers as to whether a decision to re-hire would be based on a determination that the former employee engages in sexual harassment. (Civil Code Section 47)

tags: New laws,

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