New California Laws Affect Auto Repairers

Published Jan. 5, 2023

Every year, hundreds of new laws are enacted that impact California automotive repair dealers. Below is a brief summary of some of the key measures, in no particular order, that took effect Jan. 1, 2023, unless otherwise noted.

Minimum Wage Increase

Effective Jan. 1, 2023, the minimum wage increased to $15.50 per hour for all employers regardless of size, based on a cost-of-living provision in the state minimum wage law. (SB 3 of 2017). Please note local minimum wage ordinances may be higher.

Catalytic Converter Record Keeping Requirements

This new law requires core recyclers that buy catalytic converters from auto repair dealers to maintain a written record that includes physical business address & phone number, business license number or tax I.D. (AB 1740)

Prohibited Purchases of Catalytic Converters

Prohibits core recyclers from purchasing catalytic converters from anybody other than certain specified sellers, including automotive repair dealers. (SB 1087)

Vehicle Exhaust Systems

Requires a court to notify DMV to place a registration hold on a vehicle found to have a non-compliant modified muffler until the court is presented with a certificate of compliance from a referee authorized to test decibel levels, starting in 2027. (AB 2496)

Wage Transparency

Employers with more than 15 employees are required to make pay range information for a position available to employees and include it in job postings. Companies with 100 or more employees are required to submit pay data and wage history to the state. (SB 1162)

Bereavement Leave

This new law requires employers with five or more employees to provide employees up to five unpaid days of bereavement leave upon the death of a family member. (AB 1949)

Protection for Off-Duty Marijuana Use

This new law makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the basis of a person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace or based on an employer-related drug test that found nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites in the person’s hair, blood, urine or other bodily fluids. The law takes effect in January 2024. (AB 2188)

Expansion of Definition of Family Leave

Expands the list of individuals which an employee can take family care or medical leave to include a “designated person” who is either related by blood or whose association with the employee is equivalent to a family relationship. (AB 1041)

Employees May Leave Work During Emergency

This new law prohibits an employer in the event of an emergency condition, as defined, from taking or threatening an adverse action against any employee for refusing to report to, or leaving, a workplace within the affected area because the employee has a reasonable belief the workplace is unsafe. (SB 1044).

CalSavers Retirement Savings

Starting Jan. 1, employers with one to four employees, that do not offer a retirement savings program, can start to register with CalSavers. This segment of employers has until Dec. 31, 2025, to register their business with CalSavers. (SB 1126).

New Changes to Consumer Privacy Act

There are changes from the current California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) including that CCPA no longer includes an employee exception, which means employees have the same rights as other consumers when it comes to protecting privacy information.

Smog Check Equipment Security & Fraud Prevention---Biometrics

This BAR regulation requires smog check stations to buy and use biometric devices (e.g. palm reader and web camera) when performing a smog check inspection. This regulation took effect Oct. 1, 2022.

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