New California Laws In 2024: Minimum Wage Increase, Cap On Security Deposits


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New California Laws In 2024: Minimum Wage Increase, Cap On Security Deposits
New California Laws In 2024: Minimum Wage Increase, Cap On Security Deposits

Come 2024, new California laws will take effect. From increased wages to employment protections for off-the-job cannabis users, here are some changes that will impact Californians.

Wages

California’s minimum wage is increasing to $16 an hour starting Jan. 1.

The fast food and health care industries will each see further increased wages following laws targeting the hundreds of thousands of workers in the two sectors.

Come April, the minimum wage for fast food restaurant workers will be set at $20. In June, health care workers will see a higher minimum wage, depending on the employer. The minimum wage for hospitals with high Medi-Cal and Medicare patients and rural hospitals will reach $18 in 2024, to increase 3.5% annually until it reaches $25 in 2033. Community clinics will reach $21 in 2024 and will eventually reach $25 in 2027.

Housing

Through Assembly Bill 12, security deposits are to be capped at one month’s rent starting July 1, 2024, regardless of whether the unit is furnished or unfurnished. Landlords can’t demand in excess of one month’s rent in addition to the first month rent paid, according to the text of the bill.

Another law prohibits so-called “crime-free” housing policies, preventing cities from encouraging evictions based on calls to police or alleged criminal activity under AB 1418.

A third law, Senate Bill 567, narrows requirements for “no-fault” tenancy terminations. If the landlord seeks to demolish or renovate, details of the work must be made available to the tenants. If the work is not completed, the tenant could have an opportunity to resume occupying the unit. The second no-fault eviction could occur if the landlord or their family members move in — they must live in the unit for 12 months at minimum and move in within 90 days. The bill adds provisions to the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 and noncompliant landlords can face penalties.

Justice

Several crimes will see potentially longer incarceration times — for those who deal or try to deal fentanyl are in store under AB 701; those who are found with nine or more stolen catalytic converters; and convicted sex traffickers of minors under SB 14 will go into effect in 2024.

Remote hearings may continue; courts under SB 133 can have remote hearings for most civil matters under SB 133 and criminal proceedings can continue under SB 135 until Jan. 1 2025.

Defendants participating in mental health diversion will no longer be able to own or possess firearms, if ordered by the court under AB 455. AB 818 also allows firearms to be confiscated when a domestic violence protective order is issued or at a domestic violence incident.

Workers

Sick leave will increase from three to five days a year. SB 616 impacts most employees and expands sick days to include caring for a family member and victims of domestic violence, sexual assaults and stalking.

Leave for a reproductive loss has also been put into legislation for eligible employees in another bill, SB 848, with workers allowed to take up to five days of unpaid leave following a miscarriage, failed adoption or other kind of reproductive loss.

SB 700 will make it illegal for an employer to discriminate against a person because of the person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace by requesting information about prior cannabis use or using criminal history relating to cannabis use against an employee or applicant.

Assembly Bill 2188 is an amendment to the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and prohibits employers from firing or disciplining a person based on nonpsychoactive traces of the drug in blood or urine. Both cannabis-use employment laws exempt the construction trades.

SB 731 requires 30-day written notice before making remote employees return to in-person work.

Health

Involuntary mental health holds have been expanded to those who can’t ensure their own safety and those struggling with drug or alcohol additions under SB 43; counties can defer until 2026.

Education

The CSU system must now produce a yearly report over the systems handling of sexual harassment allegations. This follows reports and a USA Today investigation detailing mishandling claims of a vice president at Fresno State by then-Chancellor Joseph Castro.

Sage Alexander can be reached at 707-441-0504

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