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New California Laws Now in Effect for 2022

The California State Legislature was busy last year, passing dozens of new laws, which were in turn signed by Governor Gavin Newsom and are now in effect. Here are just a few of the new laws in California for 2022 that may impact your life or business.

Housing

With the state continuing to face a chronic housing shortage, the legislature passed several laws seeking to alleviate the crisis.

SB 8

SB 8 extends the Housing Crisis Act to 2030 and makes a few adjustments to that law. It is meant, among other things, to speed up approval of housing developments and prevent local authorities from passing laws after an application has been submitted that would prevent the development from going forward.

SB 9

This act aims to simplify the process of subdividing a lot or creating or splitting a home into a duplex. If the proposed development meets certain requirements (including a minimum of 800 sq. feet per dwelling), local agencies must approve the project with minimal review and are restricted in their power to discourage such developments through zoning regulations.

SB 10

This law makes it easier for local governments to voluntarily upzone districts for increased housing density.

Workers’ Rights

These new laws are meant to improve pay and working conditions for California’s workers.

SB 62

California has a large garment production industry; SB 62 prohibits the practice of piece-rate compensation to garment workers. Instead of being paid per unit of work completed, these workers must now be paid an hourly wage. Employers who violate this law face fines, which are then paid to the workers themselves.

AB 1003

Employers who intentionally steal wages in large amounts (at least $950 from one employee or $2350 from two or more in a 12-month period) can be criminally charged with grand theft. Those convicted could face up to 3 years in jail.

SB 639

Existing law allows employers to obtain a special license to hire employees with mental or physical disabilities and pay them less than minimum wage. The new law phases out this program by 2025.

Voting

Among the bills passed were several election and campaign reform laws. Here are a few of them:

AB 37

Lawmakers previously implemented a temporary requirement that election ballots be mailed to every registered voter, which can then be returned by mail. AB 37 makes this a permanent requirement.

SB 35

Current law prohibits electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place. This law extends that protected area to anyone waiting in line to cast a vote. It also prohibits people from blocking access to the polling place and placing fake ballot collection boxes.

AB 686

Limited liability companies engaged in political activities must disclose information about their members and contributors.

Environmental Protection

The environment is always high on the legislature’s list of priorities. As a result, they passed several laws in this area in 2021, including the following:

SB 1

With regard to development within California’s coastal zone, the California Coastal Commission must adopt guidelines and recommendations for the assessment and mitigation of sea-level rise.

AB 652 & 1200

This law prohibits the use of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in products for children as well as disposable food packaging.

SB 343

Among other things, SB 343 prohibits deceptive markings or claims regarding the recyclability of products and packaging.

Navigate an Evolving Legal Landscape 

Laws and regulations are always changing, especially in California. Some of these changes can have significant consequences for your finances, your business, and more. Hiring an attorney who stays on top of these developments helps you stay ahead of the curve and take full advantage of new opportunities. Contact our team today for a consultation.

Written By

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