SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — As the clock strikes midnight ushering in the New Year, a slew of new laws will also hit the books in California.
These range from increased hourly wages to greater protections for insurance policyholders.
Some were even born of the on-going pandemic.
While COVID-19 was not on most Californians' radar just one year ago, as we head into this new year, it is top of mind for everyone. Beginning Friday, January 1, all employers statewide will be required by law to notify any employees who may have been exposed at work within 24 hours.
Also becoming law as the clock strikes midnight: following a number of high-profile deaths in police custody, law enforcement throughout California will be banned from using choke holds and carotid holds.
Parolees who had lost the right to vote will now have that privilege restored.
State inmates who had worked as hand crews battling wildfires while behind bars will now be able - depending on their crime -- to get their felony convictions expunged upon release, making it easier for pursue careers as firefighters.
Regarding employment, the minimum wage statewide will rise to $14 an hour for those in a company with more than 25 employees, while for smaller companies, it will be $13 an hour.
All companies will also be required to provide its workers up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for family emergencies or the birth of a child.
Corporate boards of publicly-held companies headquartered in the Golden State will be required to appoint one director from an 'underrepresented community' in terms of race, ethnicity or sexuality. This new law is in addition to the law already on the books mandating at least one female director.
Beginning in 2021, insurance companies will be required to notify, and receive written acknowledgment from, customers if their policy renewal reduces coverage such as fire protection.
A state law signed a decade ago by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger goes into effect in 2021, effectively "putting the brakes" on manufacturing brake pads with more than five percent copper material. This means that certain new 2021 Chevy Camaro models can not be sold in California.
Another new law born out of the Coronavirus pandemic: hospitals will be required to maintain a three-month supply of personal protective equipment, or PPE, such as N-95 respirators, and make sure that their nurses and other health care workers use the PPE supplied to them.