New year, new laws. San Francisco, ever the pioneer, jumps into 2013 by leading the country--in wage rates. Yes, as of January 1, 2013, we have the highest minimum wage in the U.S., $10.55 an hour. Here’s the low-down on that and other new rules in San Francisco and in California that might affect or interest you, which cover everything from women's medical care and Internet bullying to texting while driving and picketing at funerals. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense, so read on.
SAN FRANCISCO LAWS
Pay for Parking Meters on SundayIt’s the end of free parking on Sundays, city-wide. But the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency is trying to ease us into this rule by slapping warning notices on windshields on the first three Sundays of the year. Those will be tickets starting on January 27. The meters are all wired so that you can now pay for them using your cell phone, though there’s a 45-cent fee for doing so. Parking meters bring in $47 million per year, and the Sunday meters are estimated to rake in another $2 million.
San Francisco passed new laws in 2012 to cover commercial dog walkers, requiring them to obtain a permit from the Department of Animal Care and Control, undergo training and abide by various dog-care standards. The rules will take effect by July 1, 2013.
Texting While DrivingCalifornia drivers can dictate, listen to and send text messages if they use a voice-operated, hands-free text communication device.
Selling Homemade FoodA new state law defines and legalizes “cottage food operations”–where certain types of food products are made in private, home kitchens and are then sold-- and subjects them to a permitting process with health and sanitation standards. Baked goods, for instance, are allowed if they don’t have cream, custard or meat fillings.
CA Homeowners’ RightsHomeowners in California have more protection. Lenders are restricted from “dual-tracking,” in which they negotiate changes to the mortgage terms and move toward foreclosure at the same time.
Social Media PrivacyColleges and universities (public and private) cannot require students and employers cannot require employees or job applicants to reveal their Facebook or other social media user names or passwords.
Medical Care for CA Women
- Mammogram coverage: Health insurers must cover mammograms that are ordered by doctors or other health practitioners.
- Access to birth control: Registered nurses are allowed to distribute birth control devices and drugs at health clinics.
- Nonsurgical abortions: A program that has allowed physician assistants, nurse practitioners and midwives to do nonsurgical abortions is extended until January 2014.