New laws that will impact Malibuites starting July 1 

0
1572

Provisions include no more hidden fees, easier processes to rent properties, and an increased minimum wage

By Barbara Burke

Special to The Malibu Times

Rental properties and landlords can no longer charge a potential tenant more than one month’s rent as a deposit effective July 1. Previously, landlords could require renters to pay as security deposits amounts equivalent to two months’ rent for unfurnished units, or three months’ rent for furnished units and those amounts did not include the first month of rent.

Fear not — if you are a landlord who previously collected more than one month’s rent for a deposit from a tenant, you are grandfathered in and you need not refund any funds to your current occupants. 

Speaking of fees, SB 478 also goes into effect July 1, and it specifically prohibits the tacking on of “junk fees,” like service fees and surcharges, which many establishments have resorted to charging in recent years as supply costs have skyrocketed. The provision specifically targets short-term lodging such as Airbnb’s and it also applies to a variety ofbusinesses, including restaurants, bars, and, much to the delight of many Calfornians, delivery apps. Businesses are now required to fully include extra fees in their prices, rather than tacking them on after services or goods have been delivered. 

As the old adage says, it’s wise to read between the lines. The practical effect of this new law is that restaurants will need to factor surcharge fees into menu prices, as opposed to simply advertising them at the end of a bill.

Therefore, economists predict that restaurants’ prices will increase, especially because the minimum wage for restaurant workers employed by companies having more than 60 establishments nationally increased to $20 an hour effective April 1.

A proviso: Restaurants have launched an effort to alter that new law such that it does not apply to them. Time will tell.

New Malibu ordinance increases the minimum wage

The City of Malibu’s minimum wage will rise to $17.27 on July 1. The provision applies to all employees within Malibu’s city limits. That includes a 2.2 percent cost-of-living increase, an amount based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price (CPI) increase. All employees within the city limits are required to post a poster that provides details of the minimum wage requirement, worker rights and protections, how to file a complaint, and other information in a conspicuous location, along with other federal and state labor postings. 

The printable poster and relevant information is available at www.malibucity.org/minimumwageposter.

AB 28 — Gun Tax 

Starting in July, there will be a new 11 percent state tax on firearms and ammunition, making California the only state in the nation to have such a tax. Revenue from the new tax is estimated to be approximately $160 million a year, which will be used to fund violence prevention programs in an effort to improve school security. The new state gun tax is in addition to federal taxes which vary between 10 and 11 percent.

SB 244 — Right to Repair

Manufacturers of electronics costing $50 or more must now provide documentation and spare parts or tools available for repair. For products costing $100 or more, manufacturers must provide parts and documentation for seven years after the product was last manufactured. This law covers electronics and appliance products, including cellphones, laptops, tablets, and home appliances that were manufactured and sold or used for the first time in California on or after July 1, 2021. 

SB 553 — Workplace violence prevention

Employers must develop and implement a workplace violence plan in accordance with newly enacted Labor Code section 6401.9, which explains the requirements for the plan.  Under this law, the majority of California employers must establish, implement and maintain a “Workplace Violence Prevention Plan,” that prohibits employee retaliation, accepting and responding to reports of workplace violence, and emergency response.

SB 616 — Paid Sick Leave

Employees must now be eligible to earn at least five days or 40 hours of sick leave or paid time off within six months of employment under a new law that applies to all employees who work in California for 30 days or more in a year.  Moreover, this provision changes the alternate sick leave accrual to also require that employees have no less than 40 hours of accrued sick leave or paid time off by the 200th calendar day or their employment or in each calendar year.

Spoiler alert! It’s no longer called ‘Slipping a Mickey’!

Mickey Finn has lost his position in libations parlance, which of course, was always a very dubious honor. The term“Slipping a Mickey” dates back to the 1890s when there was a bartender named Mickey Finn in Chicago who used to doctor a drink, thereby incapacitating the drinker and making him unable to defend himself or remember anything when he was robbed. The expression first appeared in print in 1915.

However, that slang phrase is no longer de rigueur. Now, the insidious and dangerous practice of spiking a drink is known as “Roofie-ing” a drink, and lawmakers in Sacramento have mandated that all nightclubs and bars with a Title 48 license (those that don’t offer food) must offer patrons a way to test their drinks to determine whether they have been roofied or spiked with date-rape drugs.

Assembly Bill 1310 states that those bars and nightclubs that sell alcohol to be consumed on-site, but that don’t have to offer food, must provide drug testing kits that can detect the presence of “roofies,” a term defined as substances that are used to spike a drink, often with the intent to facilitate a sexual assault. The drug test strip must be able to detect at least one controlled substance, like GHB, ketamine, or flunitrazepam, typically used to spike drinks. The law requires the drug testing kits to be available at a reasonable cost or gratis. The law also requires businesses to place a notice and warning sign with the verbiage, “Don’t get roofied! Drink spiking test kits are available here! Ask a staff member for details.” 

Readers should note that this article only covers those new laws that go into effect on July 1 and that affect commerce. There are a myriad of other laws that relate to other issues. As laws change regarding Malibu’s economic sector, The Malibu Times will update readers.