New California Laws Taking Effect in 2019

Governor Brown signed more than 1,000 new laws which took effect after the new year. Every bill signed by the Governor took effect January 1, unless otherwise noted.

It’s hard to keep track of all the new laws so we’re breaking the ones that may actually affect your day-to-day life.

New California Labor Laws

Senate Bill 3: Minimum Wage

State minimum wage is now $11 an hour for people working at companies with 25 or fewer employees. For companies with 26 or more employees minimum wage raises to $12 an hour.

Senate Bill 1252: Copy of Employment Files

Employees now have the right to a physical copy of their employment records. Before they were only able to review them.

Senate Bill 826: Women on Board of Directors

Public companies headquartered in California must have a set number of women on the board of directors.

Assembly Bill 2757: Overtime for Agricultural Workers

California farm workers are eligible for overtime pay after 10 hours of work as of January 1st. By 2022 they’ll receive overtime pay after 9.5 hours of work.

Senate Bill 946: Sidewalk Vendors

Local governments can now set up a licensing system to regulate street vendors. This affords street vendors more freedom. Before this law banning sidewalk vendors was common practice. Vendors in violation of local laws will now face fines rather than criminal charges.

Assembly Bill 626: Home Kitchen Operations

Allows people to sell food they make in their home kitchen to the public. Home kitchens are subject to food safety inspections. Food must be sold to consumers and not part of a delivery service.

Senate Bill 1300: Unlawful Employment Practices

Bans the practice of offering raises or bonuses in exchange for employee silence. Employers can no longer make deals with employees to keep quiet about unlawful acts in the workplace.

This includes sexual harassment in exchange for raises or bonuses, or as a condition of employment.

New California Traffic Laws

Assembly Bill 2989: Electric Scooters

Riders who are at least 18 years old will no longer be required to wear helmets. The law also bans the use of scooters on a highway with a speed limit over 25 miles per hour.

Assembly Bill 3077: Helmet Use by Minors

Riders under 18 who were cited for not wearing a helmet can correct the violation within four months. This can be done by attending bicycle safety courses and proving they have a helmet that now fits them.

Assembly Bill 1755: Bicycling Crashes

Bicyclists will now face the same responsibilities as motorists in a hit-and-run situation. A cyclist involved in an accident must stop at the scene and report the accident.

Senate Bill 1014: Rideshare Vehicles

Companies like Uber and Lyft will be required to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles on their platforms.

Assembly Bill 2886: Rideshare Drivers

Ride share apps will have to provide passengers with: their driver’s name, picture, and an image of the vehicle the driver is approved to use.

Assembly Bill 516: License Plates

To reduce tolls violations, dealers will now attach a temporary paper license plate to a car at the time of sale. Unless, the vehicle has a previously-issued license plate.

Assembly Bill 1824: Fine for Loud Vehicle Exhausts

Excessively loud modified exhausts will no longer be a correctable offense. Motorcycle or vehicle owners will now face fines.

Assembly Bill 544: HOV Lane Decals

230,000 drivers will need a red decal for HOV lanes as opposed to the green and white stickers.

Assembly Bill 1274: Smog Checks

The vehicle age requirement to get a smog check is now 8 years old. This is up from the previous 6-year-old requirement.

Senate Bill 179: Non-binary Drivers Licenses and ID’s

California drivers will now have three gender options on driver’s license applications . Male, female, and non binary.

Changes in California Criminal Law

Senate Bill 1046: DUI Offenders

DUI offenders will have to install Breathalyzers in their vehicles to get their license back.


Assembly Bill 439: Minimum Age for Prosecution

A juvenile must be at least of 12 year for prosecution in juvenile court. This is unless a minor under 12 committed murder or rape.


Senate Bill 10: Cash Bail Unconstitutional

California has abolished cash bail for suspects awaiting trial. The courts will decide who to keep in custody and who to release. The new law goes into effect October 2019.

New California Divorce Law

Assembly Bill 2274: Divorce and Pets

Courts will now decide what’s in the pet’s best interest and who gets custody during divorce proceedings.