Here are some of the new laws taking effect in 2020


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The start of a new year means several new laws will be taking effect in California in 2020.

Some of the laws concern school suspension, discrimination in the workplace and rental cost increases.

Labor and Employee Rights

Assembly Bill 5 reclassifies California independent contract workers as employees — aiming to provide fair wages and compensation not always guaranteed when working independently.

The law primarily applies to Uber and Lyft drivers and those working in California’s ‘gig economy.’ Supporters of the law said companies often misclassify workers to avoid certain labor laws.

Under AB 5, “gig” workers would be entitled to benefits most employees receive — such as overtime, sick leave and unemployment.

The law goes into effect Jan. 1.

Minimum wage in California will increase to $12 across the state beginning Jan. 1. The minimum wage will increase annually by $1 through 2022.

Minimum wages in some Bay Area cities are higher than $12 and will be increasing in 2020, including San Francisco, El Cerrito, Daly City and San Jose. For a full list, click here.

School Suspension

Senate Bill 419 changes state law surrounding students being suspended from school. Beginning July 1, K-8th grade students at public and charter schools will not be suspended for disrupting school activities or defying authority.

Prior law applied to only K-3rd grade, but the new law now applies to students through 8th grade. The law was signed by the governor in September.

The bill takes effect July 1.

Capping Rent Increases

Assembly Bill 1482 limits rent increases for some California tenants over the course of the next 10 years. The law, signed in October by the governor, limits rent increases at 5 percent per year plus inflation through Jan. 1, 2030.

The law also bans evictions without reason — which essentially prohibits landlords from evicting a renter only to raise rent for the next tenant. The law takes effect Jan. 1 but applies to rental increases from March. 15, 2019 or later.

The law tackles the state’s homeless crisis — which is partially caused by abrupt rental costs.

Vaccine Exemptions

Senate Bill 276, California’s newest vaccine law, targets doctors who issue more than five medical exemptions for vaccines per year. The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, would allow the state to investigate doctors who issue an excessive amount of exemptions. The measure also works to prevent doctors from selling vaccine exemptions.

The law was the subject of protest this year before and after it was signed by the governor in September.

Just last week, the group “Freedom Angels” halted its effort to repeal the law because of a failed attempt to gather 600,000 signatures to qualify for the 2020 ballot.

Hair Discrimination

Senate Bill 188, also known as the Crown Act, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom over the summer, prohibits companies and schools from discriminating based on someone’s natural hairstyle.

The bill was passed unanimously in June by the State Assembly and later signed by the governor. It bans discrimination on the basis of natural hairstyles like cornrows, brands and dreadlocks.

The bill was penned by state Senator Holly Mitchell.

Mitchell said earlier this year that there are “too many reports of black children humiliated” because of their hair.

The law takes effect Jan. 1.

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