New California Laws for 2024

Published January 2, 2024

With the new year, California has enacted new laws that range from the announcement of the official state mushroom to an increase in minimum wages.  Below is a summary of some of these new laws that will go into effect on January 1, 2024, or thereafter.

Business

Noncompetition Agreements.SB 699, expands the Business and Professions Code’s prohibition on non-competition agreements regardless of where or when the agreement was signed, even if it was signed outside of California. The Bill also creates a private right of action for former and prospective employees against any employer that attempts to enforce a void noncompete.

Notification of Noncompete. AB 1076 requires that employers notify certain employees who have contracts containing a noncompete clause that the noncompete provision is void. The written notice must be provided by February 14, 2024.

Presumption of Retaliation. SB 497 creates a presumption of retaliation if an employee is discharged or disciplined within 90 days of certain protected activities. These include employee activities such as:

Reporting wage and hour violations

Disclosure to a government or law enforcement agency that the employee reasonably believes is information of a violation of state or federal statute, rule, or regulation.

Reporting or attempting to enforce rights pertaining to equal pay.

The presumption places the burden on the employer to rebut via some other legitimate, non-retaliatory reason for the adverse employment decision. Workplace violence prevention plan (effective July 1, 2024)

Mandatory Workplace Violence Plan. SB 553 will make California the first state to require employers to develop, implement and maintain an “effective” workplace violence prevention plan, train employees, and create and maintain extensive records regarding workplace violence.

Beginning July 1, 2024, the bill requires virtually all employers to create a workplace violence prevention plan that is in writing and accessible to all employees. The Bill specifies the content of such a plan and includes an anti-retaliation provision for employees who file workplace violence reports.

Employers must also log incidents of workplace violence, defined as “any act of violence or threat of violence that occurs in a place of employment that results in, or has a high likelihood of resulting in, injury, psychological trauma, or stress, regardless of whether the employee sustains an injury.”

Campsite Reservations. AB 618 imposes fees on state campsite reservation holders who cancel within two to six days of their stays. Those fees can include the cost of the first night.

Gender-Neutral Toy Section. AB 1084, department stores with at least 500 employees in California are required to have a gender-neutral section of children's toys.

Online Protections.AB 587 requires social media companies to disclose how they address hate speech and disinformation. Tech companies are expected to provide reports to the state attorney general on how they address violations of user terms.

Consumers

The Right to Repair ActSB 244 requires manufacturers of devices that cost more than $50 to provide consumers and repair shops with parts, tools, or instructions to repair the device.

Hidden fees no longerSB 478 in July, this will law require websites to show the actual cost of a service or item upfront. This includes hotel or short-term rental stays, event tickets and food delivery services.

Crimes and Public Safety

Concealed Carry Revision. SB 2 prevents concealed carry of a firearm in some public spaces, including sidewalks and school zones.

Fentanyl Distribution Penalty. AB 701 increases potential prison sentences for criminals convicted of dealing high amounts of fentanyl.

Child Sex Trafficking.  SB 14 classifies child sex trafficking as a serious felony. It includes harsher penalties for people convicted of such crimes.

Ebony Alerts. SB 673 creates a new emergency alert called an Ebony Alert, used to help locate missing Black women and youth.

'Excited Delirium': AB 360 prohibits coroners, medical examiners and physicians from using the controversial term "excited delirium" as a cause of death and from being recognized as a valid medical diagnosis. The bill would prohibit a peace officer from using the term to describe an individual in an incident report.

Bicycle Signals. A new section to AB 1909 will require bicyclists to obey bicycle signals whenever an official traffic control signal exhibiting different colored bicycle symbols is shown concurrently with official traffic control signals or pedestrian control signals exhibiting different colored lights or arrows. This section will go into effect starting Jan. 1. 

Speed Cameras. AB 645 would allow the cities of Long Beach, San Jose, Oakland, Glendale, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to establish a Speed Safety System Pilot Program. The program would require the listed cities to engage in a 30-day public information campaign before implementation to determine where systems would be detecting violations. Violations captured by speed cameras will be subject to civil penalties up to $25. The pilot program is authorized until 2032.

Shared Mobility Devices AB 410 will expand on the definition of mobility devices to include electrically motorized boards, motorized scooter, electric bicycle and non-electric bicycles. The new law would require a shared mobility service provider to place a tactile sign containing raised characters and accompanying braille, as specified, to identify the device to report illegal or negligent activity. The bill will go into effect starting on Jan. 1. 

Daylighting Crosswalks. AB 413 prohibits stopping or parking a vehicle within 20 feet of an intersection or crosswalk clear of parked vehicles.

CruisingAB 436 keeps cities and counties from imposing cruising bans on city streets.

Employment

State Minimum Wage Increase.The state minimum wage will increase to $16 per hour starting on Jan. 1. California’s minimum wage previously stood at $15.50. Some cities and counties have a higher local minimum wage, according to the Department of Industrial Relations

Minimum Wage Increase for Healthcare Workers. SB 252 will raise the minimum wage for healthcare workers to $23. Workers must be employed under covered healthcare facilities in California. This bill goes into effect starting June 1. 

Paid Sick Leave:  SB 616 would apply to employees who have been working in California for the same employer for 30 or more days within their starting year. The bill will require an employee to have no less than 40 hours or five days of accrued sick leave or paid time off by the 200th calendar day of employment, or in each 12 months. The bill will go into effect starting on Jan. 1.

Leave.SB 848 would require employers to offer reproductive leave. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse or grant a request by an employee to take up to five days upon the death of a family member. This bill would allow reproductive leave within three months of the event and will use other leave balances otherwise available to the employee. An employer may deny leave for more than one reproductive loss within 12 months. The bill will go into effect starting Jan. 1.  

Work From HomeSB 731 requires an employer to provide a 30-day advance written notice before requiring remote employees to return to an in-person setting. The notice would also explain the employee’s right to remain remote as an accommodation, if applicable, to their disabilities. This bill will go into effect starting Jan. 1. 

Penalizing Cannabis.  SB 700 would make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment. 

Wage Increase Healthcare FacilitiesSB 525 requires California healthcare facilities to raise minimum wage schedules beginning on June 1, 2024. The applicable minimum wage schedules (from $18 per hour up to $23 per hour) will depend on the type of healthcare facility and the nature and size of the business. In addition to the varying minimum wage schedules, SB 525 requires healthcare workers who are paid on a salary basis to earn a monthly salary equivalent to at least 150% of the healthcare worker minimum wage, or 200% of the applicable state minimum wage, whichever is greater.

Wage Increase Fast-Food Wage. AB 1228 requires California fast-food restaurants to raise minimum wage for employees to $20.00 per hour beginning on April 1, 2024. This applies to chains of limited-service restaurants consisting of more than 60 establishments that share common branding, marketing, and products. The Bill also establishes and authorizes a Fast-Food Council to set fast-food restaurant standards for minimum wage, and develop proposals for other working conditions, including health and safety standards and training.

Environment

State Mushroom. AB 261, establishes the California golden chanterelle as the official state mushroom.

Housing

Security Deposits. AB 12 would cap security deposits at one month’s rent even if the unit is furnished or not. This new law will allow owners of no more than two rental properties, or no more than four units, to request up to two months of rent. The bill will go into effect starting July 1. 

Rent Control. AB 1620 would require that tenants in rent-controlled units who have permanent disabilities related to mobility be allowed to relocate to an available and accessible unit at the same rental rate and terms. This requirement will apply to properties with five or more rental units and will take effect on Jan. 1. 

Credit History. SB 267 prohibits the use of a person’s credit history as part of the application process for a rental housing accommodation. Tenants must offer the application the option to provide reasonable evidence to pay such as government benefit payments, pay records, and bank statements. The bill will go into effect starting Jan. 1.

Housing DevelopmentSB 4 permits places of worship or independent higher education institutions to build a housing development project on their property "by right."

Public Health

LGBTQ Youth Support: Under SB 407, the California Department of Social Services will be directed to ensure LGBTQ youth are placed with supportive and gender-affirming foster parents. The law requires a family to demonstrate the ability and willingness to meet a child's needs, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.


Attached  Summary of Court-Related Legislation for additional laws.

This article is for educational purposes only.