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New 2020 California Laws

New 2020 California Laws

With a new year comes a new set of laws ranging from gun and employment laws to education and housing laws. With Governor Gavin Newsom signing nearly 1,200 new laws in 2019, California can expect to see several of them implemented throughout the 2020 year. See below a breakdown of the primary 2020 California laws that are most likely to affect you and your families.


  • Any person that is barred from buying a firearm in another state will also not be allowed to purchase a firearm in California (AB 164).
  • A gun-violence restraining order can now be requested by an employer, teacher, or co-worker. Previously, only family or law enforcement could make such a request (AB 12).
  • Only persons over 21 years old will be able to buy a semi-automatic rifle (SB 61).
  • Firearm sales and firearm-related activities will increase by $31.19 (AB 1669).
  • Any gun owner whose gun is removed from the home by a minor or otherwise prohibited person will be charged and banned from owning a gun for 10 years (SB 172).


  • Minimum wage will increase up to $15/hour (SB 3).
  • Paid leave will be extended from 6 weeks to 8 weeks for employees caring for ill family members or employees bonding with a new child (SB 83).
  • Employees can now file a complaint related to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation for up to 3 years after the incident occurred (AB 9).
  • California employers can no longer create dress codes that are against hairstyles such as braids, afros, twists, and locks. This makes California the first state to enact such a law (SBpl 188).
  • Workplaces that have 5 or more employees are now required to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training within the first 6 months of employment (SB 1343).
  • Nursing mothers must have a room that includes a sink and refrigerator and must be within close proximity to their work space and free from intrusions in order to lactate during breaks (SB 142).


  • High schools cannot start earlier than 8:30 AM and middle schools cannot start earlier than 8:00 AM. This new law will be implemented over the course of the next 3 years (SB 328).
  • Public schools cannot suspend students in the 1st through 5th grades for “willfully defying teachers or administrators” (SB 419).
  • School boards can now ban smartphone device use in schools with the exception of emergencies or medical purposes (AB 272).


  • Rent increases have now been limited to 5% each year and a landlord can no longer evict a tenant for no reason (with the purpose of forcing current tenants out to bring in new tenants at a higher rent rate) (AB 1482).

Criminal Justice

  • Minors at the age of 12 can now be sent to juvenile hall (SB 439).
  • The statute of limitations for childhood victims of sexual violence has now increased to age 40 (or 5 years from the date that the abuse was discovered) (AB 218).
  • The statute of limitations for domestic violence has also increased from 1 year to 5 years from the date of the incident (SB 273).


  • Cosmetic products that include ingredients tested on animals are now banned from import and sale (SB 1249).
  • Exotic animals, such as elephants, can no longer be used in circus acts. Domesticated animals, such as dogs and horses, can still be used (SB 313).
  • Animal adoption fees are waived for all military veterans (SB 245).

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About The Author

Rachel Lee Perez

Rachel Lee Perez is our Staff Writer. Rachel is a two-time published author of the books Happily Ever Afterlife and Home. She is also a podcaster, paralegal, dance instructor, and passionate Elk Grove City resident. When she is not attending fun Elk Grove events, you can usually find her at home watching history documentaries, catching up on true crime podcasts, or diving into a good book.

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