New 2014 California Laws Impacting Your Life

Hammerschmidt Law Corporation wants you to be aware of the new California laws that stand to affect you.  On January 1st, 2014 dozens of new laws take effect – impacting labor, economy, the environment and many more aspects of our community. We’ve collected just a few laws that may potentially touch your life:

TEEN DRIVER/DISTRACTED DRIVING  –  SB 194: This law prohibits a person who is under 18 years of age from using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving, even if it is equipped with a hands-free device.

CYBERBULLYING PROTECTIONAB 256: This law amends California’s pupil discipline law, Education Code section 48900, which identifies grounds for suspension and expulsion, including bullying.

Long Gun RegistrationAB 809: This law applies the same regulations relating to the reporting and retention of records for handguns to long guns.

Retaliation and Unfair Immigration Practices – AB 263: This law prohibits an employer from engaging in “unfair immigration-related practices” when an employee asserts protected rights under the Labor Code. For instance, an employer may not threaten to contact, or contact, immigration authorities because an employee complained that he/she was paid less than the minimum wage.

AB 263: This law authorizes various penalties against employers that engage in unfair immigration-related practices, including a private right of action.

AB 524: This law clarifies that a person may be guilty of criminal extortion if the person threatens to report the immigration status or suspected immigration status of an individual, or his/her relative or a member of his/her family.

SB 666: This law permits the state to suspend or revoke an employer’s business license where that employer reports, or threatens to report, the immigration status of any employee because the employee makes a complaint about employment issues. It also allows for disbarment of attorneys for similar conduct against witnesses or parties in a lawsuit.

Bicycle Passing DistanceAB 1371: This law prohibits motorists from passing a bicycle with less than three feet between any part of the vehicle and any part of the bicycle or driver.  When three feet is not possible, the motor vehicle must slow to a reasonable and prudent speed and only pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist. Failing to do so can incur a fine, regardless of a collision or not. This law will go into effect September 16, 2014.

HIT AND RUN STATUTE OF LIMITATIONAB 184: This law extends the statute of limitations for hit-and-run collisions in which death or permanent, serious injury was a result.  A criminal complaint may be filed within three years of the offense, or one year after the person was initially identified by law enforcement as a suspect in the commission of the offense, which ever comes later, but in no case more than six years after the offense.

SEARCH WARRANTS (DRAWING BLOOD)SB 717: This amendment to current law authorizes the issuance of a search warrant to draw blood from a person in a reasonable, medically approved manner, to show that the person violated misdemeanor DUI provisions when that person has refused an officer’s request to submit to, or has failed to complete, a blood test. This law has been operative since September 20, 2013.

PROTECTION FOR MILITARY VETERANS AB 556: This law adds “military and veteran status” to the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.