By: Veronica Henderson, Attorney at Law
As we close out 2019 and prepare to ring in a new year, we should all familiarize ourselves with new laws in California that will take effect as of January 1, 2020. This is especially important since many people in our communities live and work on both sides of the border.
Relating to work, the minimum wage will increase to $12 an hour for employees of companies who have 25 or fewer employees, and $13 for larger companies. Furthermore, benefits under the Paid Family Leave Act will increase from 6 weeks to 8 weeks, effective July 1, 2020. Also, businesses with at least 5 employees will be required to train employees on sexual harassment issues in the workplace.
In other important areas of life, laws relating to housing discrimination have been expanded to protect veterans and military personnel. Domestic partner laws have also been expanded to offer protections to heterosexual couples. In the past, only male-female non-married couples over the age of 62 were allowed to register as domestic partners because of social security benefit requirements. Now, these couples may register as domestic partners at any age.
In the healthcare arena, important legislation becomes law for undocumented immigrants. California becomes the first state in the U.S. to offer government-subsidized health benefits to young adults living in the U.S. who do not have legal status. The law expands the Medicaid program to include low-income adults age 25 or younger regardless of their immigration status.
It is a good idea to read the entirety of the legislation so that you can familiarize yourself with all the provisions, and see how they may apply to you and your family. Happy New Laws and Happy New Year!