Auto Lemon, Public Breast feeding Laws Among 2002 California Additions
– A revamped “lemon law” gives California auto buyers more clout. The current law requires manufacturers to declare a faulty new car a lemon if the vehicle cannot be repaired in four tries. A new bill reduces the number of tries to two in cases where the defect could threaten the lives of the driver and the public.
-Liberal San Francisco Senator John Burton sponsored a bill that requires landlords to give 60 days’ notice, rather than 30, if they increase the rent by more than 10%.
– Employers must provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to “express breast milk” for her infant – unless it would seriously disrupt the employer’s business, which in most cases would not be the case. The statute also requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location in close proximity to her work area so she can breast feed in private. The room cannot be a toilet stall.
– California’s minimum wage law increased from $6.25 to $6.75 an hour as of January 1st. The minimum wage law was tied to the minimum salaries that exempt employees must receive, so unknown to many, as of January 1st, exempt, executive, administrative or professional employees’ minimum salaries were increased from $26,000 to $28,080.
– Property owners must now disclose to buyers or renters if the building is contaminated with toxic mold. Toxic mold is the issue du jour for do-gooders..
– Purchasers of new handguns, as of January 1, 2003, will have to pass a written test on safety and gun laws and demonstrate that they know how to use the gun. New handgun buyers must obtain a training certificate. Current gun owners are not required to register weapons they already own.
529 Education Plans
– Internal Revenue Service rules have been changed to provide even more benefits for those wishing to set aside funds for their children or grandchildren’s education expenses, including tuition, supplies, and room and board. Earnings on the amounts invested in the account accumulate on a tax-deferred basis until distributed. Very cool way to go.
– Following the Supreme Court’s upholding of Barry Bonds’ premarital agreement with his ex-wife “Sun,” the legislature (Senator Sheila Kuehl aka Zelda of Dobie Gillis) passed a law making it almost mandatory for spouses to be represented by attorneys while preparing premarital agreements. With this law, the “more government” folks won over “freedom of contract” proponents.
Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon, with offices in Truckee,
South Lake Tahoe and Reno. He is a mediator and was the Governor’s
appointee to the Bipartisan McPherson Commission and the California Fair
Political Practices Commission. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at the firm’s web site http://www.portersimon.com.