| by Heather Duncan, Esq.
The end of the 2014 calendar year is a good time to look at some of the changes in California law that will be taking effect in 2015.
In the court reporting arena, Assembly Bill 2370 was enacted to provide additional regulation for interpreters in court proceedings, including depositions. Beginning January 1, 2015, whenever there is an interpreter present at a deposition, the interpreter will be required to state all of the following for the record:
(1) His or her qualifications, including name and certification or registration number.
(2) A statement that the interpreter’s oath was administered or that he or she has an oath on file with the court.
(3) A statement that he or she has presented to both parties any certification or registration badge issued by the Judicial Council or other documentation that certifies his or her certification or registration, accompanied by photo identification.
This law was enacted to ensure that attorneys and judges are provided adequate information to distinguish between certified interpreters and those who are not certified.
Additionally, below are brief summaries of a few of the many other new California laws:
MANDATORY PAID SICK LEAVE: California employers will be required to pay employees for up to three days of sick leave per year effective July 1, 2015.
ANTI-ABUSIVE CONDUCT TRAINING: Sexual Harassment training must now include anti-abusive conduct/bullying training.
PLASTIC BAG BAN: California will begin phasing out single-use plastic bags in stores starting in 2015, while allowing grocers to charge a 10-cent fee for paper or reusable bags.
YELP BILL: Consumers will now be protected from facing legal action from businesses over negative reviews. This bill makes it explicitly clear that non-disparagement clauses in consumer contracts for good or services in California are void and unenforceable.
SCHOOL EXPULSIONS: California schools may no longer expel students for willfully defying school authorities. Additionally, the punishments have been reduced for law-level offenses such as marijuana possession and picking fights.