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Navigating the Challenging Terrain of California's New Business Laws in 2024

In the complex and ever-changing landscape of California business law, staying informed and compliant is not just a good practice but a necessity for the survival and success of any business. As 2024 unfolds, a range of new statewide laws have taken effect, impacting companies operating in California. It's understandable that for many business owners in the Yuba-Sutter area, keeping up with these changes can feel overwhelming. The Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation recognizes these challenges and is committed to providing guidance and support to local businesses navigating these legal waters. This blog outlines the key legal updates for 2024 alongside a recap of significant 2023 laws that should not be missed.

Chalkboard with the different arenas of business compliance listed

New Laws Effective January 1, 2024

  • Minimum Wage Increase: The statewide minimum wage has been raised to $16 per hour, affecting wage structures. Exempt employee salary minimums have also increased to $66,560 annually.

  • Non-Competition Agreements - SB 699: This law significantly alters the landscape of employment contracts by prohibiting non-compete agreements, impacting existing and future agreements.

  • Off-Duty Cannabis Use - AB 2188 and SB 700: These bills introduce new considerations for employers in drug policy, particularly concerning discrimination based on off-duty cannabis use.

  • Whistleblower Protection - SB 497: This law introduces a presumption of employer retaliation if an employee faces negative consequences within two years of making a protected disclosure.

New Laws Effective July 1, 2024

  • Workplace Violence Prevention Plan - SB 553: This mandate requires employers to develop and train employees on a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) aiming to enhance workplace safety.

Ongoing Changes Throughout 2024

  • Increased Paid Sick Leave - SB 616: Full-time employees are now entitled to a minimum of 5 days (40 hours) of paid sick leave per year, with potential variations in different cities.

  • Healthcare Facility Minimum Wages - SB 525: Establishes minimum wage schedules for various healthcare facility employee categories.

  • Fast Food Worker Minimum Wage: A new minimum wage of $20 for fast food workers in California's largest chains will be implemented in April 2024.

Key 2023 Laws to Remember

Also, it's crucial to remember some significant laws from 2023:

  • Minimum Wage Increase to $15.50

  • Pay Transparency and Updated Reporting Requirements - SB 1162

  • Three Days of Paid Bereavement Leave - AB 395

  • Enhanced Retaliation Protections During Emergencies - AB 1041

  • Extended COVID-19 Exposure Notice Requirements - AB 2693

  • Expanded California Family Rights Act Leave - AB 1949

  • Contraceptive Equity Act of 2022

  • New Off-Duty Cannabis Discrimination Prohibitions - AB 2188 and SB 700

  • Expansion of CFRA - AB 1055

For many business owners, adapting to these legal changes can be daunting. The Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation is here to help you understand these changes and implement them in a way that minimizes disruption to your business. We understand that these laws can represent a significant adjustment and potentially increased costs for your business. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and resources to manage these changes effectively, helping you avoid potential litigation and fines that can arise from non-compliance.

Staying informed and prepared is key to navigating these legal requirements successfully. Remember, you're not alone in this journey. The Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation is your partner in ensuring that your business remains compliant, efficient, and resilient in the face of these legal changes.


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