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New California Business Laws for 2020


California adopted 17 business laws that took effect New Year’s Day in 2020. Some of the laws have immediate consequences, while others will take longer to implement and produce changes. As a business owner, it’s important to remain informed on any new laws so that your business can adapt and avoid any disputes or charges in the future.

A few of these laws that may impact your business include:

Hairstyle in the workplace (SB-188)

Schools and workplaces are forbidden from discriminating against a person based on their hairstyle, which includes braids, locks, and twists. As a business, it’s important that owners create a workplace guide that can set clear discrimination and harassment guidelines for employees to refer to.

California Consumer Privacy Act

According to this new act, California businesses will now have to disclose what personal information they already have and delete the information upon request. Businesses have 45 days to comply with requests, but are also allowed to take a 45-day extension.

Mandatory arbitration agreements are now banned (AB-51)

Starting January 1, this new law prevents anyone from making employees or applicants sign a mandatory arbitration agreement, which requires people to settle disputes with an arbitrator instead of the court.

Renters receive more protections (AB-1482)

Rent control protections now include a limit on increased rents. Landlords can only increase their rents by 5 percent on housing build more than 15 years ago, and they must compensate tenants who are evicted without just cause.

Lactation areas (SB-142)

Employers are now required to offer a lactation room near a refrigerator and sink for nursing employees, and the space must not be a bathroom or closet.

Human trafficking training (SB-970)

Hotels and motel owners are now required to provide employees with at least 20 minutes of training to recognize human trafficking – training must have been completed by January 1, and is to be completed every two years.

Power outages as part of wildfire plan (SB-167)

Electrical companies are required to create three-year wildfire mitigation plans that are to be approved by the Wildfire Safety Division, and must include a plan as to how to provide electricity to those who have medical conditions.

Helping You Grow Your Business

At Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP, our business attorneys are committed to helping clients grow their business, no matter which stage they’re in. Whether you’re drafting a contract for the first time, tackling the concept of copyright issues, or are experiencing a breach of warranty, no issue is too simplistic or challenging for our team to take on. Business law can be confusing to navigate – you deserve to work with a team that can give you and your business the personalized attention it deserves. Even if your business is just starting out, you want to receive professional counsel so you don’t encounter problems that will prevent your business from growing.

Call Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP at (888) 998-2031, or contact us online for dedicated legal counsel on your business or real estate matters. We can help you whether you’re involved in a dispute or want to create a legally binding contract.