Samantha Tata | NBC Los Angeles
Several laws affecting minimum-wage workers, public figures and K-12 students will take effect this year.
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Other new laws expand search-warrant jurisdiction and change the way restaurant servers receive their tips.
Elementary, junior high and high school students who identify as transgender will be allowed to use school bathrooms and play on sports teams consistent with their gender identity, according to Assembly Bill 1266.
“A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records,” the law reads.
To obtain a public vote on this law, passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, a coalition of conservative groups called Privacy for All Students has collected hundreds of thousands of signatures. Counties have until Jan. 8 to verify them through random spot-checking.
Workers earning minimum wage will net $9 an hour starting July 1.
The increase is part of a three-year plan that will raise the hourly minimum wage in California to $10–one of the highest in the nation–by 2016. Under another bill, domestic workers will have to be paid time and a half if they work more than nine hours in a day or more than 45 hours in a week; baby sitters are exempt.
Backed by actresses including Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner, a new measure will impose tougher penalties on paparazzi that harass the children of public figures, including celebrities, police officers and judges. Starting in January, violators could face up to a year in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Fines would increase for subsequent convictions.
Abductions by custodial parents or guardians, who may cause serious bodily injury or death to the child, now will require law enforcement to request the activation of an AMBER Alert.
All 10 University of California campuses will be smoke-free starting Jan. 1, 2014. The ban includes all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
A new bill extends the current three-year statute of limitations for hit-and-run offenses to six years from the date of a crash that causes death or permanent, serious injuries.
Tips automatically added to a restaurant bill (usually when a table seats 6 or more diners) will now be taxable as regular wages and subject to payroll tax withholding, which means your server won’t see those tips until payday instead of taking it home as cash.
A driver suspected of DUI who refuses to submit to or fails to complete a blood test can be served a search warrant to draw blood in a “reasonable, medically approved manner.” This law went into effect Sept. 20.
Employers are now barred from firing, discriminating or retaliating against a worker because they are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. The new law also requires employers to protect victims from their abusers, for example, by changing the employee’s work number.
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Source: Santa Clarita News