Smoking Ban At Beaches

Smoking and vaping are banned at beaches and state parks starting Jan. 1. According to SB-8, throwing away cigars and cigarettes at state parks and beaches will also result in a fine. Smoking on a state beach or within a state park system, or disposing of a used cigar or cigarette at a state beach or state park, will be an infraction punishable by a fine up to $25.

Consumer Loan Cap

Consumer loans between $2,500 and $9,999 will have interest rates capped at 36 percent above the Federal Reserve’s main interest rates. This law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, is intended to prevent predatory lending.

Limitations On Gun Purchases

Californians will have to wait 30 days between buying semi-automatic rifles. The SB-61 law will go into effect Jan. 1.

Changes To The Gig Economy

The AB-5 law limits employers’ ability to classify workers as independent contractors. Most contract, freelance and contingent workers will need to be reclassified as full-time employees — eligible for benefits, a guaranteed minimum wage and worker protections. If employers do hire freelancers, they are limited to 35 submissions in one year before they must be added to the payroll.

Prohibition On Mandatory Arbitration Agreements

Mandatory arbitration agreements require people to resolve legal conflicts via an arbitrator rather than the court system. The AB-51 law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, prevents anyone from requiring employees or applicants to sign the mandatory arbitration agreement.

The ban on mandatory arbitration is considered pro-employee and pro-consumer because it allows complainants to seek justice through the court system rather than through arbitration, a system seen as favorable to employers and corporations. In court, a plaintiff can ask a jury to award damages.