Happy New Year! We recently posted about the changes to California laws that affect your rights as an employee in the workplace starting in January 2019. There are many changes happening in other areas of California law, also starting at the beginning of 2019, that we thought you might be interested in. Read on to learn more about some of these changes.
For Our Safety
Scooter Safety: Adults 18 or older no longer have to wear a helmet when riding a scooter, up to 35 miles per hour on city streets. Scooters are not allowed on sidewalks. Regardless, we recommend that you ALWAYS wear a helmet on scooters and bicycles, no matter your age. AB 2989.
Doctor Probation Disclosure: Starting in July, doctors will have to inform patients if they are on probation before offering treatment. SB 1448.
Bicycle Accidents: If a bicyclist hits a person and kills or injures them, the bicyclist must stay at the scene or be held accountable for a hit-and-run. Previous hit-and-run laws did not apply to bicyclists. AB 1755.
Sexual Assault Victim’s Rights: Victims are now given up to ten years to seek civil (not criminal) damages from a sexual assault, expanding their access to justice. AB 1619.
The Criminal System
DUI Breathalyzer Installation: Drivers found guilty of two DUIs will have to install breathalyzers in their cars in order to get their driver’s licenses back. SB 1046.
Prosecution of Minors: With exceptions for murder and rape, 12 is now the minimum age for prosecution in juvenile court. SB 439. Defendants under the age of 16 can no longer be tried as an adult. SB 1391.
End of Cash Bail: Taking effect in October, California is ending cash bail for suspects awaiting trial. California is the first state in the country to end cash bail.
Marijuana Convictions: With marijuana legalized in California, those convicted of possession, distribution, and cultivation can petition to overturn or reduce their convictions. The Department of Justice must identify all eligible cases by July. AB 1793.
Police Footage: Law enforcement agencies must release audio and video footage within 45 days of a shooting or excessive force incident. AB 748. When the police has killed or seriously injured someone, the public is allowed to access the internal investigations of the incidents. SB 1421.
Women on Boards: Public companies must have at least one female director on their board by the end of 2019. SB826.
Driver’s License Gender: You can now state that you are gender nonbinary, in addition to male or female, on your driver’s license. SB 179.
For Our Furry Friends
Resuscitation: Mouth-to-snout resuscitation can now be provided to distressed cats or dogs by first responders. SB 1305.
Pet Stores: Pet stores can no longer sell dogs, cats, or rabbits unless they were obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter. AB 458.
Affecting our Day-to-Day
Kid’s Nutrition: Restaurants are now required to serve water or milk as the drink that comes with kids’ meals by default. Soda will no longer automatically come with the meal, but can still be ordered. SB 1192.
Reducing Straw Use: Full-service restaurants will no longer provide straws unless a customer asks, to reduce the environmental impact of plastic straw usage. AB 1884.
Selling Homemade Food: Publicly selling homemade food is no longer illegal, allowing small home-cooking operations. AB 626.
Healthcare: Health plans are required to spend at least 80 percent of each premium dollar on health care (AB 2499), and insurers are prohibited from offering short-term health plans. SB 90.
Vote-By-Mail Ballots: Vote-By-Mail ballots will now have pre-paid postage, so you don’t need to look for or buy a stamp to send your ballot back in. AB 216.
We hope you found this article helpful! Remember to read about the new 2019 California workplace law changes here. Whether it has to do with these new laws or not, if you feel that your legal rights are being violated, please give PARRIS Law Firm a call at (661) 485-2072 to start your free case consultation.