Month: February 2024

These New California Laws Take Effect in 2024

Last year, California Governor Gavin Newson signed several major laws passed by the state legislature. These bills, all of which went into effect January 1, impact a wide range of California residents, including business owners, employees, non-profit institutions, and even some Mexican residents looking for access to more affordable education.
Here are some of the changes you can expect to see in 2024. 

Extended Sick Leave  

Until recently, California law only required employers to provide employees three days (24 hours) of paid sick leave. As of January 1, California workers are entitled to five days (40 hours) of paid sick leave.

It’s worth noting that this change only extends to employees who have worked for the same employer for at least 30 days. The law applies to the following employees: 

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • Workers hired on an as-needed basis
  • In-home supportive service providers
  • And temporary employees

There are a few minor exemptions, but the law applies to most workers who meet the 30-day employment requirement. 

Protection For Recreational Marijuana Users

Late last year, Governor Newsom extended California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) with Senate Bill 700, a bill designed to protect workers from discrimination related to cannabis use. The bill prohibits employers from requesting information related to applicants’ prior use of marijuana.

In addition to Senate Bill 700, Assembly Bill 2188 further protects employees and applicants by prohibiting employers from:

  • Discriminating against employees who use cannabis on their time, outside of work
  • Taking adverse action against an employee who shows the presence of non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites (substances that do not cause a “high” or impair one’s ability to work)

There are some exceptions, however. The bill does not extend to construction workers and those applying to positions that require a federal background check or security clearance. 

More Access to Affordable Housing

It’s no secret—California has long ensured a housing shortage.

The new Senate Bill 4 bill opens up 170,000 acres of land for affordable housing, allowing non-profit colleges, churches, mosques, and other faith organizations to transform excess land and parking lots into affordable housing.

This new law allows qualifying institutions to bypass local permit restrictions to address California’s homeless crisis.

It’s also worth noting that Senate Bill 423 further strengthens affordable housing development by expediting approvals of affordable housing projects and introducing new labor standards that will make these projects more appealing to construction unions. 

In-State College Tuition For Some Mexican Residents

Nearly 170,000 people crisscross the California-Mexico border daily for work, school, or recreation. Assembly Bill 91 gives some individuals greater access to affordable education in the United States.

More specifically, the bill allows low-income students from Mexico who live within 45 miles of the border to pay in-state tuition at eligible community colleges. This five-year pilot program begins this year. 

Questions About How These New California Laws Impact You? We Have Answers.

These new changes have broad implications for many California residents and businesses. If you have questions about how they impact you, contact the experienced legal team at Hoffman & Forde. We specialize in immigration law, real estate, administrative law, and more and can help you successfully navigate these changes.