New California Laws
Effective January, 2002
Each year, the California Legislature enacts many laws which become effective on January 1 of the following year. The following are a few of the more interesting laws which took effect on January 1, 2002:
If you leave a child under the age of 6 unsupervised in a vehicle with the engine running, keys in the ignition, or allow some other significant risk to the child’s safety, you will now be subject to a $100 fine. [SB 255] The impetus for this law was the death of a six month old child who was left in a van on a hot summer day by a babysitter.
If a premarital settlement agreement deals with spousal support, the agreement cannot be enforced if the spouse did not have an independent lawyer at the time the agreement was signed. [SB 78]
Employers are presently required to make reasonable efforts to provide a work break and an appropriate room, other than a toilet stall or broom closet, for lactating mothers to pump breast milk. [AB 1025]
If you register, as a domain name on the Internet, the name of a political opponent to set up a phony website or to resell the site for financial gain, you are now perpetrating a crime. [SB 412]
The Department of Justice is required, by January 1, 2003, to establish a “do not call” list of Californians who do not wish to receive unsolicited pitches from telemarketers. After the institution of this list, violators will be subject to a $1,500 fine per call. [SB 771]
If family members wish to erect roadside signs in memory of a victim of a drunk or drugged driver, they may now do so. The signs will set forth the victim’s name and the message “Please don’t drink and drive.” [AB 965]
Employers in California cannot require that only English be spoken in the workplace unless they have a justifiable business reason. [AB 800]
Abandoning an unwanted pet on a highway is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or a six month jail term, or both. A new law requires the posting of signs at entry points by highway to California warning of the law. [SB 237]
Uninsured motorist coverage has been extended to policyholders injured by their own vehicle when the vehicle is used without the policyholder’s permission during the commission of a crime, such as car jacking. The motorist must, however, file a police report to obtain the coverage. [SB 81]
Don't even think that the State Legislature has exhausted its interest in passing new California laws. Wait 'til next year!