New California laws in 2021

HERE are 12 new California laws that take effect in 2021:

• Potential COVID-19 Exposure Notification: Requires employers to promptly notify employees of potential coronavirus exposure.

• Minimum Wage Increase: California’s minimum wage increases to $14 per hour for businesses employing 26 or more people and $13 per hour for businesses that have 25 or fewer employees.

• Family and Medical Leave Expansion for Small Businesses: Requires small employers (up to five employees) to provide up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for qualifying life events (serious health problems, birth of a child, and military active duty).

This covers employees who have worked for more than 12 months. If both parents of a child work for the same company, each of the parents will receive 12 workweeks leave.
• Hospitals must maintain a three-month supply of personal protective equipment (masks and gloves).

• Kin Care Leave: Employees have the power to use their sick days at their sole discretion. Businesses cannot deny an employee’s use of sick days for whatever reason the employee deems necessary.

• Unattended Children Liability: Exempts a Good Samaritan who rescues an endangered child from an unattended locked vehicle from civil and criminal liability.

• Establishes potential fines for motorists who do not slow down or change lanes when encountering a Caltrans vehicle, tow truck, or any emergency vehicle with lights flashing on a highway. CHP officers can issue them a $50 ticket.

• Emergency vehicles can use a distinctive “Hi-Lo” warning sound to notify the public of an immediate need to evacuate an area in an emergency.

• Brush Clearance: Homeowners in fire-prone areas must further reduce vegetation within 100 feet (30 meters) of structures including eliminating vegetation adjacent to structures.

• Insurance Code: Insurers must prominently notify policyholders if their offer to renew a policy reduces coverage (eliminating fire protection) and get it acknowledged in writing.

• Law Enforcement’s Use of Deadly Force Policies: Requires law enforcement agencies to maintain a policy that provides guidelines on the use of force.

• New Successor Liability Risks: Companies that acquired another business through a merger or consolidation with similar operations are now be liable for wages, damages, and penalties owed by the predecessor. Note: Folks, this is why businesses have been leaving our Golden State in droves for business-friendly Nevada, Texas, or Florida. If you were just starting out, would you leave California? I certainly would.

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Victor Santos Sy graduated Cum Laude from UE with a BBA and from Indiana State University with an MBA. Vic worked with SyCip, Gorres, Velayo (SGV – Andersen Consulting) and Ernst & Young before establishing Sy Accountancy Corporation in Pasadena, California.

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He has 50 years of experience in defending taxpayers audited by the IRS, FTB, EDD, BOE and other governmental agencies. He is publishing a book on his expertise – “HOW TO AVOID OR SURVIVE IRS AUDITS.” Our readers may inquire about the book or email tax questions at vicsy@live.com

Victor Sy, CPA, MBA
Victor Sy, CPA, MBA

Victor Santos Sy graduated Cum Laude from UE with a BBA and from Indiana State University with an MBA. Vic worked with SyCip, Gorres, Velayo (SGV - Andersen Consulting) and Ernst & Young before establishing Sy Accountancy Corporation. He retired after 50 years of defending taxpayers audited by the IRS, EDD, BOE and other governmental agencies. He published a book on “How to Avoid or Survive IRS Audits.” Readers may email tax questions to vicsy@live.com.

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