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California’s New Laws for 2022, Explained

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In the wake of COVID-19 and the political, social, and economic upheaval that followed, the California state legislature has responded by passing hundreds of new laws. From healthcare to marriage to law enforcement, these new rules affect the daily lives of everyone in the state. Here is a quick guide to some of California’s most significant new laws going into effect this year.

Housing

Single Family Lots: SB 9, SB 10

Perhaps two of California’s most notable new laws from 2021 address the state’s housing crisis. SB 9, the “duplex bill,” will allow homeowners to build duplexes, triplexes, or fourplexes on their single-family lots. SB 10 streamlines the rezoning process for those who wish to do so.

To comply, the following conditions must be met:

  • The property cannot have been used as a rental property for the past three years
  • The property cannot already have a second dwelling unit
  • The new lot may not be less than 40% of the property and must be at least 1200 square feet
  • Modifications to the existing home may not require demolition of more than 25% of an exterior wall
  • Neither the new duplex nor the lot split can cause adverse impact to the physical environment

Both laws go into effect on January 1, 2022.

Multifamily Developments

For any residential structure with five or more dwelling units which include both affordable housing units and market rate housing units, AB 491 requires the affordable housing units must have the same access to building entrances, common areas, and amenities as the market rate housing units. This law may be applied retroactively.

Digital Privacy

California Privacy Rights Act

In 2020, California citizens voted yes on Prop 24, better known as the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). The law expands on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and establishes new rights for the state’s consumers:

  • Right to access the personal information a business has collected about you
  • Right to limit or opt out of the sharing/selling of personal information
  • Right to sue businesses for negligently exposing usernames, passwords, or personal information in a data breach

The law also further regulates “high risk data processors” and enables special protections for minors browsing the internet.

The full provisions of the law for consumers don’t go into effect until 2023, but businesses are expected to comply on January 1, 2022.

Personal Health Care Information

AB 825 expands the definition of personal information as it relates to health care data. Now including genetic data, the law requires businesses to put in place reasonable safeguards and alert consumers of any data breach of their personal information.

Genetic Information Privacy Act

SB 41 requires genetic testing companies to provide consumers with a notice about their data collection practices. The new law also requires companies to get a consumer’s express written consent to collect, use, or disclose an individual’s genetic data. It also requires companies to destroy a consumer’s biological data within 30 days of receiving revocation of consent.

Multifamily Developments

For any residential structure with five or more dwelling units which include both affordable housing units and market rate housing units, AB 491 requires the affordable housing units must have the same access to building entrances, common areas, and amenities as the market rate housing units. This law may be applied retroactively.

Law Enforcement

Peace Officer Decertification

SB 2 gives a new division within the Peace Officer Standards and Training commission the power to investigate and/or decertify police officers accused of misconduct. The bill also prohibits officers stripped of their licenses from applying for jobs in another California police jurisdiction.

Police Age & Education

AB 89 raises the age at which you can become a police officer from 18 to 21. The law also requires that California community colleges develop a modern policing degree program for prospective officers in the state, to be implemented in 2025.

Hate Crime Education

AB 57 calls for increased training for law enforcement regarding hate crimes. Police officers must be educated on hate crimes (including religion-bias hate crimes) by subject matter experts.

Healthcare and COVID-19

COVID-19 Exposure Notification

AB 654 requires employers to provide notice to the local public health agency of COVID-19 positive tests within 48 hours or one business day, whichever is later. It also requires employers to notify employees, customers, and anyone else onsite who may have been exposed.

Hepatitis B and C Screening

Adult patients receiving primary care services in California must be offered a screening test for hepatitis B and hepatitis C to the extent these services are covered under a patient’s health insurance. (AB 789)

Affordable Medical Care

Another new law makes medical care more affordable for those without insurance or those under 400% of the federal poverty level. (AB 1020)

Healthcare Bias Training

Beginning January 1, 2023, nurses will be required to take implicit bias training. For every two years on the job, nurses must take a one hour course. (AB 1407)

Education

Mental Health Education

Each public school district in California is now required to offer mental health coursework for middle or high school students. The State Department of Education must develop a plan to implement mental health coursework in schools by January 1, 2024. (SB 224)

Free College Tuition for COVID-19 Survivors

AB 1113 allows the children or spouse of a nurse or physician who died of COVID-19 during California’s state of emergency to receive free tuition from any public postsecondary school in California (the UC system, Cal State schools, or community colleges).

CalFresh in College

California public colleges are now required by AB 543 to educate incoming students about the eligibility requirements for CalFresh, California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Food and Beverage

Takeout Alcoholic Beverages

SB 389 allows customers to order alcoholic drinks to go with their takeout food through 2026.

Restaurant Delivery Apps

Under AB 286, food delivery apps, such as Grubhub or Postmates, are not allowed to retain tips. If the food is for pickup, then the tip goes to the restaurant. If it is delivered, then the delivery driver keeps the tip.

Miscellaneous

Enforcement Liens on Real Property

SB 572 allows the Labor Commissioner to create a lien on an individual’s real property to secure amounts due under a citation, finding, or judgment.

Environmental Marketing Claims

SB 343 sets out to restrict environmental marketing claims made to California consumers. When a company claims a product is recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable, it must now be able to back those claims up with evidence. Previously, any company could put those logos on their products and there was no requirement that the products actually comply. This new law expands to all consumer products sold in California and enacts penalties of up to $2500 per violation.

Remote Marriages

In light of COVID-19, county clerks are now able to issue marriage licenses and solemnize marriage ceremonies using remote technology. Notably, the couple wishing to get married must be in the same physical location within California. (AB 583)

PARRIS Is Here to Help

We hope that this roundup of new laws in California has been helpful. With the sheer amount of regulations in California, understanding the implications of new additions can be quite overwhelming.

Remember—if at any point your rights as a California resident have been violated, call PARRIS Law Firm. We are here to fight for you.

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