New 2024 Laws Will Affect Landlords and Business Owners

Landlords and employers should take note of new California laws taking effect in 2024, as a number of changes will affect business operations. The most significant involve increases in California’s base minimum wage, which will go up from $15.50 to $16 per hour. Beginning in April, the starting pay for fast food workers in the state at companies with over 60 locations will be set at $20 per hour, following the passage of California Assembly Bill 1228 this past September. And then, starting in June, Senate Bill 252 will raise the minimum wage of healthcare workers to $23 per hour.

Another pair of laws going live on Jan.1 will enhance time off provisions for employees. SB 616 requires employers to provide at least 40 hours or 5 days of accrued sick leave or paid time off within the first year of employment. Meanwhile, SB 848 will guarantee that employees can take reproductive leave within three months of welcoming an addition to their family. That law will also make it illegal for management to deny up to 5 days of bereavement leave following a death in their families.

Additionally, SB700 will prevent companies from discriminating against job applicants or employees based on their use of cannabis. And SB 731 will require employers to provide people working from home 30-days notice before making them return to an office schedule.

Several healthcare-related laws will also go into effect on Jan. 1. SB 43 modernizes the conservatorship laws of the state for the first time in nearly 50 years. It creates a pathway for adults or qualified minors to assume legal and, potentially, financial responsibility for loved ones disabled as the result of a mental health disorder.

Another pair of new laws in 2024 will make it easier for renters to find a home. SB 267 prevents landlords from considering a person’s credit history in applications beginning Jan. 1. However, tenants will still have to provide reasonable proof that they can make rent. And then, in July, AB 12 will cap security deposits at one month’s rent, regardless of whether a unit is furnished or not.

Harsher penalties for people convicted of certain crimes will also be on the books in 2024. AB 701 reclassifies child sex trafficking as a serious felony, making violators subject to even longer jail sentences.

Additionally, the distribution of fentanyl will also be categorized as a serious felony beginning Jan. 1. The drug is an opioid used for pain relief that is 100 times as potent as morphine and 50 times as powerful as heroin. It was the primary cause of over 70,000 fatal opioid overdoses in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.