Every year, hundreds of new laws are enacted that impact California's automotive repair shops, both collision and mechanical.
From huge MSOs to independent shops, these laws have the potential to influence collision repair centers everywhere if they don't adapt and adhere to these new laws.
Jack Molodanof, an attorney and lobbyist who has distinguished himself in areas of automotive legislative and regulatory law over the past 30 years, is the go-to lawyer/lobbyist in California for the automotive repair industry and represents several statewide automotive associations, including the California Autobody Association (CAA), Automotive Service Councils of California (ASCCA) and the California Automotive Business Coalition (Cal-ABC). Molodanof also serves on the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Advisory Group, which provides input on BAR programs.
Below is a short summary highlighting some key measures that take effect in 2019, unless otherwise noted.
Minimum Wage Increase: Reminder that effective Jan. 1, 2019, the minimum wage for employers with 26 or more employees increased to $12 per hour. The minimum wage for employers with 25 or fewer employees increased to $11 (SB 3 of 2017). Local minimum wages may be higher.
Electronic Documentation and Authorization: These newly enacted regulations, among other things, allow for electronic estimate and authorization, transmission and storage of automotive repair documents. If a customer provides electronic authorization (a text, for example), the shop must properly record the authorization and maintain legible copies of all records for at least three years. The regulations also require that repair documents supplementing the estimate, including electronic communications, must be uniquely identified (e.g. invoice number) and properly maintained as part of the same transaction. All records (including 3rd party supplier/vendor) associated with the repair transaction must have a unique identifier linking the records to that specific transaction. (16 CCR Sections 3303, 3352, 3353, 3353.1, 3354, 3355, 3356, 3357, 3358, 3359, 3371)
"This law went into effect on Sept. 13, 2018, and it is a good thing because it will help consumers and body shops and make transactions easier and faster,” Molodanof said. "We are entering the 21st century with this law by using technology to streamline processes, but it also involves new procedures and ways of doing business.