California 2015 Laws

eggsHundreds of new laws—930 to be exact—go into effect this year. Most took effect on January 1; however, some laws, such as the smartphone kill switches requirement, ban on plastic bags, increase in assisted living fines, mandatory sick days, and pet insurance consumer protections won’t go into effect until July 1.

Here’s a rundown of some of the bills Governor Brown signed into law:

Smartphone kill switches: Senate Bill 962 requires all smartphones sold in California have theft-deterring technology that allows owners to remotely disable their stolen devices.

Dogs at restaurants: Under Assembly Bill 1965, restaurant owners can decide whether to allow dogs in their outdoor dining areas, and local jurisdictions retain the ability to prohibit the practice or add restrictions.

Ban on plastic bags: SB 270 bans supermarkets and large pharmacies from using single-use plastic bags. Customers will be encouraged to use reusable cloth bags but can purchase paper bags at a cost of at least 10 cents each.

Military spouses: AB 186 requires the Department of Consumer Affairs to provide military spouses and domestic partners licensed to practice professions in other states a 12-month temporary license to practice in California when their spouses are stationed in the State.

Pet insurance: AB 2056 requires that pet insurance policies clearly disclose details, including coverage limitations, reimbursements, waiting periods, and deductibles.

Online reviews: AB 2365 makes nondisparagement clauses in consumer contracts for goods or services in California unenforceable; businesses cannot use them for civil lawsuits against Californians offering opinions or reviews on Internet sites such as Yelp.

Chickens: With the backing of 2008’s Proposition 2 and then 2010’s AB 1437, every egg laid or sold in California must come from hens with enough space to stand up, turn around, lie down, and stretch its wings.

Ride-service insurance coverage: AB 2293 requires that drivers for ride-service companies, such as Uber and Lyft, must be insured during the time they have their app open but have yet to accept a call. The bill also calls on insurance companies to offer policies tailored specifically for ride-service drivers.

For more information on California’s new laws, go to http://www.gov.ca.gov.

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