Earlier this week, I wrote about new statutes California community association managers and board members should know about. So, I thought I should also talk about new statutes California business owners should know about. Surely our legislators put great effort into passing lots of legislation to materially improve the business climate in our economically hard hit state.
Well, no, not really. I suppose there is a silver lining, though. At least the folks in Sacramento didn’t go out of their way to make the business climate even worse.
Better luck next year, I suppose.
In the meantime, what to blog about? I’ve got it!
Considering the impending Super Bowl game, you may be happy to hear that Assembly Bill 58 amended Penal Code Section 337a, and added Penal Code Section 336.9, to eliminate misdemeanor and/or felony criminal penalties for friendly sports betting pools. That Super Bowl pool at work? Now it is only punishable by a fine. If the stakes are small enough. Or it doesn’t fall under some other exception. So okay, these new statutes aren’t perfect (not even for California). And I should warn you to read the full text of the law yourself, if you are considering doing anything which it may pertain to, because it’s full of all sorts of complexities (and I know less about criminal law than most criminals do). (You can find it at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_0051-0100/ab_58_bill_20090806_chaptered.pdf.)
But it is nice to know that our state lawmakers spent their time on issues which are of such importance to our economy this past year. I mean, in addition to these new Penal Code provisions, they also passed a law allowing a motor vehicle passenger to turn on a DVD screen in the front seat, as long as the driver can’t see it (Assembly Bill 62). Oh, and California dentists are now prohibited from making credit arrangements with patients who are under anesthesia (Assembly Bill 171), which makes me wonder how widespread this practice was before (a scary thought).
Tongue-in-cheek comments aside, there are a few new statutes which, depending upon the business you are in, could be important for you to familiarize yourself with. If your business is a restaurant, remember that the ban on trans fats kicks in this year (okay, that’s still a bit sarcastic). If you sell a product or service using recurring periodic fees or charges (an “evergreen clause”, for example), you must be careful to disclose the details and obtain your customer’s specific written consent (Assembly Bill 340). If you do home remodeling or other contracting work, be very sure that you have the necessary license(s), as a first offense will now cost you up to a $5,000 fine and up to six months in jail (Assembly Bill 370). And if yours is a small, home-based child care business (for six or less children), you must be licensed in pediatric first aid and CPR (Assembly Bill 1368), just like larger child care facilities.