Looking at the New Laws of 2020

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With the ringing in of the New Year, new laws will go into effect that might alter the way many people conduct business, when they send their children to school and pay for health care.


There are many laws that go into effect in 2020. In the following weeks CVW will be looking closely at some of these laws and examine bills that were authored and/or voted on by local representatives.

SB 328. This law goes into effect by the 2022-23 school year, the end of the three-year collective bargaining agreement with school employees. (Public schools are required to present a three-year budget to the state.) The bill imposes a state-mandated local program in which middle and high schools, including those operated as charter schools, begin no earlier than 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. respectively. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed this bill into law in October. 

AB 1482 – Tenant Protection Act of 2019. This law went into effect Jan. 1, 2020. It caps annual rent increases at 5%, plus the rate of inflation, for much of the state’s multifamily housing. This ordinance will vary for cities that already have rent control laws in place. The second part of the law will require landlords to show just cause when evicting tenants who have lived at the location for 12 months or more.

SB 329. This law prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants who use housing vouchers to pay their rent. The law basically expands the definition of vouchers to include “federal, state or local public assistance and federal, state or local housing subsidies.”

SB 3. The minimum wage increased on Jan. 1, 2020 to $12 an hour for workers at companies with 25 or fewer employees and $13 an hour for larger companies that employ 26 or more people.

SB 78. California residents are required to maintain minimum health care coverage for themselves and their dependents effective Jan. 1, 2020. Those who do not maintain their health care will face a state tax penalty. This law establishes a three-year program to provide additional state subsidies to help qualifying families buy coverage through Covered California. “The bill would require the Exchange to grant exemptions from the mandate for reason of hardship or religious conscience, and would require the Exchange to establish a process for determining eligibility for an exemption,” according to the bill.

AB 5. This law has been getting a lot of attention since it was signed in September 2019. Better known as the “gig worker bill,” the original discussion centered around Uber- and Lyft-type drivers; however, since it was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, and even before, this bill has been a topic of conversation in multiple fields, from the film industry to writers and construction workers. Though there have been exemptions to the original bill Californians are still protesting and worrying about how this will affect their right to make a living in the state. The law changes the way California defines contract and independent workers. Whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee will depend upon the ABC test: [A] the worker is free from control and direction in the performance of services; [B] the worker is performing work outside the usual course of the business of the hiring company; [C] the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business.

This law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

AB 51. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2020 this law will prohibit an employer from “requiring any applicant for employment or any employee to waive any right” for their day in court. This law prohibits arbitration agreements between employers and employees.

Some employers require employees to sign an agreement to arbitration instead of taking the company to court. The law does not apply to arbitration agreements entered into prior to Jan. 1, 2020.

SB 83. New parents will have eight weeks to spend with their child instead of the six weeks now required through the Paid Family Leave. This law goes into effect on July 1, 2020.