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December 26, 2013
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Jim Porter: New CA laws for 2014

The State of California’s unofficial motto is: When in Doubt, Pass a Law. The 2013 Legislative session ended with around 1,000 bills signed by Governor Jerry. Here’s a sampling in no particular order.

MINIMUM WAGE

California’s current minimum wage of $8 per hour goes up to $9 per hour on July 1, 2014 and to $10 on January 1, 2016.

As a result, the minimum monthly salary for exempt employees will increase from $2773.34 per month to $3,120 on July 1, 2014, and $3,466.67 on January 1, 2016. San Francisco’s minimum wage is now $10.55 an hour.

TRANSGENDER STUDENTS

Under the California Bathroom Bill, transgender students in public schools may choose which restrooms they use and whether they participate in boy or girl sports.

AB 1266 requires public schools to permit non-biological boys in girls’ restrooms and showers, and biological girls in boys’ restrooms and showers.

EMPLOYEE WAGE WITHHOLDING

It’s crime for an employer to fail to make agreed-upon payments to health and welfare funds, pension funds or various benefit plans, but interestingly not a crime to fail to remit withholdings from an employee’s wages. That changes January 1.

ONE-WAY STREET

In any lawsuit brought for the nonpayment of wages or fringe benefits, existing law requires the court to award attorney’s fees to the prevailing party.

That law is now changed such that the court may award attorney’s fees where the employer is the prevailing party only if it determines that the employee sued in bad faith. Hard to prove.

PAID FAMILY LEAVE

Under existing law, employees may receive up to six weeks of wage replacement benefits to take time off to care for a seriously ill child, spouse or domestic partner, parent or to bond with a minor child.

As of July 1, 2014, these benefits expand to include time off to care for a seriously ill sibling, grandparent, grandchild or parent-in-law.

ILLEGAL ALIENS

As of January 1, 2015, AB 60 requires California DMV to issue a driver’s license to illegal aliens who can prove identity and California residency and meet all other licensing requirements, and it is a violation of law to discriminate against anyone on the basis of having this new license.

ILLEGAL ALIEN LAWYERS

Now there’s an idea. AB 1024 provides that illegal aliens may practice law in California.

BICYCLES

After next September, drivers must stay at least 3 feet away when passing bicyclists vs. “a safe distance” as the law recites today.

If drivers are unable to give at least 3 feet of space, they must slow down and pass only when it can be done safely.

MIDWIVES

AB 1308 authorizes a midwife to directly obtain supplies and devices, administer drugs and tests, and receive reports that are necessary to his/her practice of midwifery, and midwives must disclose to perspective clients procedures that warrant consultation with a physician and surgeon.

As always, have a fun and healthy new year.

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon licensed in California and Nevada, with offices in Truckee and Tahoe City and Reno. Jim’s practice areas include: real estate, development, construction, business, HOA’s, contracts, personal injury, mediation and other transactional matters. He may be reached at porter@portersimon.com or www.portersimon.com.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Dec 26, 2013 05:34PM Published Dec 26, 2013 12:12PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.