California legislators forwarded numerous bills to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk in 2023. A substantial portion of these bills received the governor’s approval just before the October deadline for either approval or veto, heralding the implementation of noteworthy regulations in the nation’s most populous state in 2024.
Outlined below are some of the new state laws set to take effect in California in 2024, spanning various areas from employment to housing laws.
2024 California Employment Laws
- State Minimum Wage Increase: Effective January 1, the state minimum wage will rise to $16 per hour, up from the previous $15.50. Some cities and counties have established higher local minimum wages.
- Minimum Wage Increase for Healthcare Workers: Starting June 1, SB 252, introduced by State Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, will elevate the minimum wage for healthcare workers to $23, applicable to those employed in covered healthcare facilities in California.
- Paid Sick Leave: Enacted on January 1 through SB 616, introduced by State Sen. Lena Gonzalez, this law requires employees who have been with the same California employer for 30 or more days in their starting year to accrue at least 40 hours or five days of sick leave or paid time off by the 200th calendar day of employment or within each 12-month period.
- Reproductive Leave: Effective January 1, SB 848, introduced by State Sen. Susan Rubio, mandates employers to provide reproductive leave within three months of a relevant event. This leave can be taken using other available leave balances, with a limit of one reproductive loss within 12 months.
- Work From Home: Starting January 1, SB 731, introduced by State Sen. Angelique Ashby, necessitates a 30-day advance written notice from employers before requiring remote employees to return to an in-person setting. The notice must outline the employee’s right to remain remote as an accommodation, if applicable to their disabilities.
- Penalizing Cannabis: SB 700, introduced by State Sen. Steven Bradford, makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against individuals in hiring, termination, or any terms or conditions of employment based on cannabis use.
- H-2A Information for Agricultural Workers: Starting March 15, AB 635 Section 2810.5, introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra, mandates employers to provide written notice of the federal H-2A visa to employees upon request, in English or Spanish, with additional languages permitted. The Labor Commissioner is tasked with creating a compliant template.
2024 California Housing Laws:
- Security Deposits: Effective July 1, AB 12, introduced by Assemblymember Matt Haney, limits security deposits to one month’s rent, even for furnished units. Owners of no more than two rental properties or four units can request up to two months’ rent.
- Rent Control: Commencing January 1, AB 1620, introduced by Assemblyman Zbur, mandates that tenants in rent-controlled units with permanent mobility-related disabilities be allowed to relocate to an available and accessible unit at the same rental rate and terms.
- Credit History: Starting January 1, SB 267, introduced by State Sen. Susan Eggman, prohibits the use of credit history in rental housing accommodation applications. Tenants must be given the option to provide alternative evidence of their ability to pay.
2024 California Transportation and Traffic Laws:
- Bicycle Signals: Effective January 1, a new section to AB 1909 requires bicyclists to adhere to bicycle signals when shown concurrently with official traffic or pedestrian control signals exhibiting different colored lights or arrows.
- Speed Cameras: AB 645, introduced by Assemblymember Laura Friedman, permits certain cities to establish a Speed Safety System Pilot Program, subject to a 30-day public information campaign. Violations captured by speed cameras may result in civil penalties up to $25. The pilot program is authorized until 2032.
- Shared Mobility Devices: Starting January 1, AB 410, introduced by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, broadens the definition of mobility devices and mandates shared mobility service providers to affix tactile signs with raised characters and braille for device identification and reporting purposes.