New California Laws for 2018

| by Heather Duncan, Esq.

In a slight departure from our usual deposition tips, this month’s Network News provides a short overview of ten of the over 1,000 new California laws that began affecting our lives on January 1, 2018:  


Employment law

California employers may no longer ask a job applicant to reveal past or present salary, compensation or benefits. Also, if the applicant asks, the employer must provide a pay range for the open position.

Employers with five or more employees are banned from asking a job applicant about conviction information prior to a conditional offer of employment.


Legal recreational weed

Adults 21 and older can now buy recreational marijuana from licensed dispensaries. Adults may smoke marijuana anywhere cigarette smoking is allowed although it is still illegal to drive while high. Smoking or eating marijuana edibles while driving or riding in a vehicle is punishable by a $70 fine (yes, that’s correct, seventy dollars).


Gender Identification

California will allow residents to choose from three equally recognized gender options - female, male or nonbinary - on state issued identification cards, birth certificates and driver’s licenses.

Employers must honor an employee’s stated preference to use a particular gender, name, or pronoun, including gender-neutral pronouns.


Sexual assault 

Inspired by comedian Bill Cosby, there is no longer a statute of limitations for rape and some other sex crimes.


Beauty & Fashion

Beauty salons and barbershops can now offer patrons a free beer or glass of wine.

Denim is now California’s official state fabric.



Terminally ill Californians will have the “right to try” experimental drugs that do not yet have full federal approval for clinical trials.



Felons serving sentences in county jails will be able to vote in California elections as part of an effort to speed their transition back into society.

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