The State of California has several new laws for 2012 – Most take effect Jan. 1

Employment Credit Checks, Handgun open-carry, booster seats, Human Trafficking, Gay Bullying, LGBT Equal Benefits and others

New Laws for California in 2012

The State of California has several new laws for 2012 – Most will take effect on Sunday, January 1.

New 2012 laws in brief:

Police at sobriety checkpoints, before impounding cars of unlicensed drivers, will have to make an effort to allow the registered owner to pick it up.

Local authorities will now regulate the location of medical marijuana cooperatives.

Beer with added caffeine will be prohibited.

With a few exceptions, the use of consumer credit reports by employers when hiring will now be prohibited.

Self-service checkout line purchases for alcoholic beverages will now be prohibited.

A minor who is 12-years-of-age will be able to consent to medical care related to a sexually transmitted disease.

New California Laws 2012 with more details:
Child Booster Seat Law
The new California Booster Seat Law outlaws parents, guardians, or drivers from transporting on a highway in a motor vehicle any child under 8 years old without securing that child in an appropriate child restraint meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.

The new California law does contain a provision, however, that a child under 8 years of age who is 4’9″ inches in height or taller may use a safety belt rather than a child safety seat or booster seat.

Employment Credit Check Law
Employers can no longer request credit reports for Californians unless they are working or seeking work in a financial institution, law enforcement or the state Justice Department.

The law also exempts anyone who
(1) has access to people’s bank or credit card account information, SSN number and date of birth,
(2) has access to an employer’s proprietary information or trade secrets, (3) signs a check, credit card, financial contract, or transfers money for an employer,
(4) has access to more than $10,000 cash, or (5) is a manager in ‘certain industries’.

California Handgun Open Carry Law
Open-carry citizen handgun ban.  Supported by cops who cannot tell whether openly carried weapons are loaded or not.  Violators pay $1,000 plus 6 months in jail (misdemeanor). Gun rights advocates vow to carry rifles and shotguns instead.  Californians can still get permits for concealed weapons, though it is increasingly difficult.

California Human Trafficking Law
Enforces mandatory disclosure of efforts that companies take to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their entire supply chains.  Being watched as a prototype of future legislation in other states and nations.

California Gay Bullying Law (Seth’s Law)
Combats bullying of gay and lesbian students in public schools by requiring school districts to have a uniform process for dealing with gay bullying complaints.  Mandates that school personnel intervene if they witness gay bullying (Law effective July 1, 2012).

LGBT Equality and Equal Access in Higher Education Law
State universities and colleges must create and enforce campus policies protecting LGBTs from harassment and appoint employee contact persons to address on-campus LGBT matters. The law includes community colleges statewide (Law effective 2012).

Domestic Partnership Equality Law
Corrects inequalities between domestic partnerships and heterosexual marriages, including domestic partner health benefits sharing (Law effective 2012).

Protection of Parent-Child Relationships Law
Allows courts to consider the relationship between a child and a non-biological parent when considering child rights cases involving birth parents, adoptive parents, and gay or lesbian guardians (Law effective 2012).

Transgender Non-Discrimination Law

Provides public accommodation and protection in education, housing and employment for gender identity and expression (Law effective 2012).

Transgender Vital Statistics Law
Makes it easier for transgender Californians to get a court petition to change their gender on official documents (Law effective 2012).

LGBT Equal Benefits Law
Requires employers with a state contract worth more than $100,000 to have non-discrimination policies in place for LGBT workers and their partners (Law effective 2012).

Judicial Applicant and Appointment Demographics Inclusion Law
Includes gender identity and sexual orientation of potential judges into the state’s Judicial Applicant Data Report to ensure that state courts are diverse (Law effective 2012).

Gay Divorce Law
Provides that if a gay couple got married in California but lives in a state that won’t grant them a divorce, the California court will have jurisdiction to grant them a legal divorce. The case will be filed in the county where the gay couple got married (Law effective January 1, 2012).

California Gay History Law
Governor Jerry Brown signed the Gay History Law, which mandates that school textbooks and social studies include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender accomplishments (Law effective 2012).

Internet Sales Tax
Governor Brown signed into law that out-of-state Internet retailers must collect California sales tax on transactions if the retailer has a presence in the state (Law effective Summer 2012).

California Renters Right to Recycling Law
Apartment building landlords will have to start providing recycling services for 7 million California tenants (Law effective 2012).

California Reader Privacy Law
Government and third-party snoops can no longer gather information on Internet users’ reading, book shopping or ebook using habits without a legal court order.

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