New year, new laws in California
Photo by Scott Rodgerson / Unsplash

It’s a new year, which brings new laws to the Golden State. Several laws will directly affect Californians as of the first, while some are only ceremonial. Such as the new official state bat (the pallid bat) and mushroom (the California Golden Chanterelle). With over 1,000 bills signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom (D), here the top 10 new California laws for 2024:

– AB2188: You can’t be fired for using marijuana when you’re not working. Employers also can’t ask interviewees if they smoke weed. However, you still can’t come to work under the influence.

– SB497: You’re protected if you talk about your salary with coworkers, discuss how much you earn, or suggest asking for a raise, and your employer can’t retaliate against you.

– AB1228 & SB525: The minimum wage is rising to $16. For fast-food workers, it will increase to $20 starting Apr. 1. Health care workers will have a minimum wage of $18 starting Jun. 1.

– SB616 & SB848: Employees will now get five sick days a year instead of three. This also includes time off for those who experience reproductive loss.

– SB644: If you cancel a hotel or Airbnb reservation that is in California within 24 hours of booking it, and the reservation is at least three days away, you’ll get a full refund.

– SB478: Hidden fees, like those often seen in concert or sports ticket sales, hotel bookings, or car rentals, are now banned in California. The true price must be shown (in most cases).

– SB345: People living outside California can contact healthcare providers in the state to get abortion and gender-affirming medications by mail. This bill also protects those healthcare providers.

– AB421: Voter guide booklets will now clearly state who opposes or supports a law or item. They will also use the terms “Overturn” or “Keep” instead of “Yes” or “No.”

– AB2773: Police officers must tell you the reason they pulled you over and cannot ask, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” unless they suspect the person driving is an imminent threat. The reason must also be written on the ticket.

– AB360: The term “excited delirium” can no longer be used as a cause of death on death certificates or in police reports, especially in cases where someone died in police custody.

This article appears on the January 12, 2024 print edition.