Job-hunters no longer need to worry about sanitizing their Facebook pages before applying for work thanks to two new laws that go on the books in 2013.
The social media privacy laws protect job-seekers and prospective students from sharing social media user names and passwords during the job application process.
Those laws are among the 873 regular session bills Gov. Jerry Brown signed in 2012. Many took effect Jan. 1.
Banning Therapies to 'Cure' Gay Minors
The law states therapists can't provide minors with therapy intended to change their sexual orientation. California is the first in the nation to prohibit such practices.
Federal judges rendered conflicting rulings on the law in December.
Eliminating on-the-job discrimination is the focus of two new laws:
- One expands the definition of "sex" under the Fair Employment and Housing Act to include breastfeeding.
- The other clarifies that the state's discrimination laws make reasonable accommodations for religious dress and grooming practices.
- AB 2370 replaces the phrase "mental retardation" with "intellectual disability."
'Good Samaritan' Overdose Prevention Law
This law encourages people to call 911 and seek medical help for someone experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose without fear of being prosecuted for minor drug crimes.
“Reassuring all Californians that calling 911 is safe and the right thing to do when someone’s life is on the line is essential,” Meghan Ralston, harm reduction manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement.
She also pointed out that this isn't a get-out-of-jail-free card. Drug dealers and motorists driving under the influence would still face legal ramifications.
California sales tax increased a quarter-cent Jan. 1 due to a voter-approved measure that will fund public safety and education. The law also ups income taxes for those who make more than $250,000 of taxable income annually.
The California Highway Patrol will implement a "silver alert" into its emergency alert system to assist in searches for missing people over the age of 65 under CHP Silver Alerts, SB 1047.
Read Patch's previous story on new laws affecting drivers.
Though this piece of legislation immediately took effect in the fall when Brown signed it, it is still significant for many small-business owners. Previously, it was legal in the state of California for disabled persons to sue businesses for $4,000 in damages per violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act; however, many small-business owners claim the law was misused by unscrupulous attorneys who would send vague "demand letters" for settlements before going to court.
Now, the demand letters must specifically state the violation; the letters cannot ask for a settlement; and the limit on damages is $4,000 per day. Additionally, business owners can reduce the damages to $2,000 or $1,000 by fixing the violation within 30 or 60 days of receiving notice, depending on the circumstances.
Click here to look up all of the new laws in the state's online database.
—Editor Nicole Mooradian contributed to this report.