New California laws for 2020

Gavin Newsom

By CCT Staff

A large number of new laws, nearly 900 passed by Governor Gavin Newsom during the latest legislative session, will impact employers, renters and other Californians in 2020. Promoting his progressive values, Newsom backed public healthcare for undocumented immigrants, tenant protections and a controversial law regarding contract employees.

Laws of note:

Three new protections for renters

California renters can rest a little easier as the state helps them stay in their homes in 2020. While many cities had rent caps in place, AB 1482 sets an annual statewide cap on rent increases at 5 percent plus inflation and limits reasons landlords can use to evict tenants.  Another new law, SB 329, bans landlords from discriminating against prospective tenants who utilize government assistance programs to pay their rent.

Health care for undocumented immigrants

California increased the state’s low-income health insurance program, Medi-Cal, coverage for undocumented immigrants, which has covered undocumented children since 2016. Now, low-income adults from 19 to 26 will can also garner health coverage through Medi-Cal.

Independent contractor restrictions

Multiple companies have cut ties with independent contractors in California because of AB 5, a law enacted to force companies like Uber and Lyft to provide employee benefits. The poorly written law has already led to legal challenges.

Hairstyle discrimination

Want to wear dreadlocks to work? With the passage of SB 188, employers can no longer discriminate for styles such as afros, braids, twists and locks.

No more elephants, tigers and bears at the circus

The Circus Cruelty Prevention Act, SB 313, bans circuses from using exotic animals like elephants and tigers in performances. After 2020, under the big top in California, attendees will see acts with only dogs, cats and domestic horses.

Animal testing on cosmetic products

SB 149 bans the sale of cosmetic products, sold primarily in the United States, when the ingredients have been tested on animals. The law does not apply to products sold internationally, where animal testing is required by law.