It is now February and as we ease into 2018, we are overcome with a bounty of new laws. From firearms to marijuana, and immigration to education, a lot of changes have been happening since January 1st, and more will continue to happen. Since only a few of these topics have been discussed in depth lately, we have put together a breakdown of the laws that should affect you the most. Please be advised that these are California laws and some have not been put in place quite yet. Here are the new laws for 2018.
Let’s start off with immigration. California has become a sanctuary state. This prohibits law enforcement from asking about a person’s immigration status or participating in any program that uses them as immigration agents. This also expands the types of criminal convictions that allow local law enforcement to transfer and share information about inmates. Another bill that was passed requires that immigration officials will need a warrant to access workplaces or employee records. Landlords are also barred from disclosing a tenant’s citizenship. Another bill will prohibit law enforcement officials from detailing a crime victim or witness only because of an actual or suspected immigration violation or turning them over to immigration authorities without a warrant.
The next change involves marijuana. As an adult over 21 years of age it is now legal to buy a specific amount of recreational marijuana from a licensed shop. While this is now legal, there are some things that need to be said. It is illegal to smoke or ingest marijuana while driving or being a passenger in a car. It is also illegal to have an open container of marijuana in your car, as with alcohol. There is also no smoking marijuana in public places, such as bars, parks, streets, etc. You are only allowed to smoke in your house or on your private property for now.
The next subject is minimum wage. The state minimum wage was increased to $10.50 an hour for businesses who have 25 and fewer employees. Businesses with 26 or more employees will be paying $11 an hour. Along with minimum wage changes, there are some other workplace laws that you should be aware of. Businesses with between 20 and 49 employees will have to offer 12 weeks of unpaid maternity and paternity leave. Employers are now not allowed to ask about past salaries, which is designed to close the pay gap between men and women.
Education is our next new law topic. There are a few changes coming to middle schools, high schools, and some colleges. In grades 7-12, students are now to be taught about sexual abuse and human trafficking prevention. Public schools serving low income students in grade 6-12 must provide free menstrual products in half of their restrooms. Schools will also be prohibited from refusing a student lunch or providing a snack instead if their parent has not paid meal fees. Public schools also must test every year for lead in their water supplies. The first year of community college may be free for full time, in state students. This law also waives the $46 per unit fee for one academic year for first time students.
Firearm laws have also been changed. Ammunition bought online or in another state must be brought into California through a licensed ammunition dealer. This means that you can no longer buy ammunition online and get it shipped to your house. It must now be shipped to a licensed dealer, so they can make sure you are allowed to have this product. For a deeper look into the gun laws of 2018, check out our previous blog.
These law changes are fairly new and are not always brought to the community’s attention. Know your rights in this new year and give us a call at (209 )900-8200 or fill out our webform below! Here at the Sodhi Law Group we are always available for to answer any questions you might have!