From earbuds to smart televisions, laws were enacted in 2016 that everyone should know about. These include:
SB 491: This makes it illegal to wear earbuds or headsets in both ears while driving or riding a bicycle.
AB 604: “Electrically motorized boards” are legal to ride on roadways for riders 16 years old and older but they must wear a helmet. This applies to electric bicycles as well.
AB 8: “Yellow Alert” The state’s emergency system can now be used in the search for hit-and-run drivers in incidents that result in death or major injuries. The system is typically used in child-abduction cases through Amber Alerts, the law was written by Assemblymember Gatto.
AB 1116: Smart TV Privacy will protect Californians from TV voice-recognition features that might record private conversations in the home. Manufacturers of “Smart” TVs must ensure that users of Internet-connected televisions are prominently informed that their voices may be recorded and transmitted back to the manufacturers. The law also prohibits manufacturers from using or selling for advertising purposes any voice recordings collected for the purposes of refining the voice recognition feature of a television.
AB 139: Revocable Transfer on Death Deed makes it simpler for Californians to transfer the title of a house via a form from the county recorder. In the past homeowners would have to hire a lawyer or go through the probate system to transfer; both options cost anywhere from $2,000 to $26,000.
AB1164: Local governments will be prohibited from banning water-conscious landscaping (drought/artificial turf) for private residents.
SB 358: The Fair Pay Act stipulates that employers can justify higher wages for men only if the pay is based on seniority, merit system, quantity or quality of production or any other “bona fide factor other than sex.”
SB 277: This law imposes one of the strictest vaccination laws in the country. It does allow children with serious health problems to opt out of school-mandated vaccinations. School-aged children who remain unvaccinated will need to be home-schooled.
Additionally, the minimum wage was raised to $10 per hour effective Jan. 1. There are some employees who are exempt from the minimum wage law, such as outside salespersons, individuals who are the parent, spouse, or child of the employer, and apprentices regularly indentured under the State Division of Apprenticeship Standards.