New laws signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom taking effect Jan. 1 address topics including minimum wage, hairstyles, taxes on diapers and gun violence.
Following are some of the new laws and what they do:
— Under AB 1482, communities without rent control will now be covered by statewide rent control protections. Rent increases will be limited to 5 percent per year plus inflation and never more than 10 percent total. The state law won’t apply to housing built within the last 15 years.
— Diapers are now tax-free.
— California became the first state to offer Medicaid coverage for low-income adults 19 to 25 years old regardless of immigration status under SB 104.
— Anyone prohibited from buying a firearm in another state will not be allowed to purchase a firearm in California.
— Anyone who owns a firearm that is taken out of the home by a child or “prohibited person” can be charged with a crime and be banned from owning a gun for 10 years under SB 172.
— AB 5 requires independent or contract workers to be considered employees and not independent workers if the employer controls the work, if the work is part of the company’s core business, or if the employer directs the worker in their job.
— With SB 188, California becomes the first state to ban workplace and school discrimination based on a person’s natural hairstyle or texture, including braids, twists and locks.
— Adoption fees for military veterans will be waived under SB 245. Under the law, shelters will confirm a veteran’s eligibility using California’s current veteran driver’s license designation.
— SB 1249 bans the sale of cosmetic products with ingredients tested on animals after Jan. 1, 2020, but does not apply to products sold globally where animal testing is required by law.
— AB 9 allows employees up to three years to file complaints of discrimination, harassment or retaliation with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Previously, employees had only had one year to file a complaint.
— SB 142 requires employers to provide clean and safe lactation rooms for breastfeeding mothers including access to a sink and refrigerator in close proximity to the employee’s workspace. It also requires the room be free of intrusion and that employers offer mothers breaks specifically for nursing.
— SB 1343 requires workplaces with five or more employees to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training within six months of being hired.
— SB 83 increases paid leave from six to eight weeks for people taking care of a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.