October 19, 2021
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2021-New year, new laws

January 8, 2021

1. Employees in the state can now receive workers compensation if they contract the virus on the job, unless employers prove otherwise.

2. Requires CAL/OSHA to provide agriculture workers, in both Spanish and English, information on ways to prevent the coronavirus.

3. In food facilities, employees must be able to wash their hands every 30 minutes and take additional time if needed.

4. Hospitals must maintain a supply of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves and supply it to endangered employees. 

5. The state itself must also build a stockpile of protective equipment under separate law.

6. Businesses will be required to notify employees about possible exposure and which benefits they can receive.

7. Good Samaritans who rescue children from overheating unattended cars will no longer be liable for the damage, if they call 911 before breaking into a vehicle.

8. Insurance companies can no longer deny life or disability income because of HIV.

9. The sale of most flavored tobacco products is now banned under a new law.

10. Law enforcement will no longer be allowed to wear uniforms that have camouflage or otherwise resemble military uniforms.

11. California’s minimum wage climbs.

12. A new law establishes a task force to study the history of slavery in the United States and how that legacy is still impacting slaves’ descendants today.

13. The new law allows people who worked on inmate fire crews while incarcerated to petition the court upon release to have their records cleared.

14. Voters passed a proposition in the November election, which restores felons’ right to vote after the completion of their sentence.

15. Under a new law, California’s three remaining youth prisons will no longer accept newly convicted youth after July 2021. Instead counties will be responsible for young offenders who he committed the most serious offenses.

16. California will have its first statewide policy banning police from using a couple of neck restraints: carotid restraints, which temporarily cut off blood flow to the brain and chokeholds which temporarily cut off a person’s air.

17. California’s new law will expand the list of conditions commercial insurers must cover. It includes medically necessary care for all mental health and substance use disorders.

18. Starting Jan. 1, 2021, roughly six million additional Californians will be able to take family leave with the guarantee that they can come back to their jobs. The new law extends job protections once reserved for employees of large companies to most workers in California.

19. Starting Jan. 1 nurse-midwives will be able to practice independently in California without physician supervision.

20. Requires the California Health and Human Services Agency to enter partnerships to produce and distribute affordable generic prescription drugs.

21. The law imposes additional requirements on health care providers and the Department of Public Health to ensure that children who are most at risk of lead poisoning are tested for led exposure.

22. Exempts certain professions-such as musicians, writers, landscape architects and a host of other professional services from AB 5, a law signed last year that required the reclassification of many contractors to employees.

23. Expands the ban on employers taking action against employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or other crimes that cause physical or mental injury when they take time off for judicial proceedings or to seek medical attention or related relief.

24. The law requires publicly-held corporations whose principal executive office is in the state of California to include at least one director from underrepresented communities on its board by the end of 2021.

25. Would allow counties to implement sheriff’s review boards or an inspector general to oversee the department and launch investigations.

26. Would require state-led investigations into police shootings of unarmed civilians and starting in 2023 would require the State Department of Justice to review use of force policies upon request of local law enforcement agencies.

27. The state will automatically clear records for arrests that did not result in conviction after the statute of limitations has passed and those around probation and jail once the sentence is completed. It applies to individuals arrested or convicted after Jan. 1, 2021.

28. Create a disputable presumption that death or illness related to COVID-19 is an occupational injury eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

29. Creates a Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights, which sets minimum standards for student loan companies and a Student Loan Ombudsman to advocate for borrowers. It also enacts special protections for military families, teachers, other public service workers, borrowers who have disabilities and older Americans.

30. California enacted a law in 2010 requiring brake pads to have less than 5 percent copper content in them by 2021.