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 take effect January 1, 2024, unless otherwise noted.

  • Minimum Wage Increase.   Reminder that effective January 1, 2024, the minimum wage will increase to $16.00 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 that local minimum wage ordinances may be higher.
  • BAR Citation and Fine Regulations.   Effective July 1, 2024, BAR may issue a citation and levy a fine against an automotive repair dealer (ARD) of up to $5,000 for each citation. Violations include, among other things, improper estimates, invoices, authorizations, deviation from trade standards, misleading advertising and guarantees and improper record retention. An ARD may appeal the citation to a three-member panel and prevent disclosure of citation on BAR website, if an 8-hour BAR approved remedial course is completed. ARD’s are strongly encouraged to take preventative measures by providing employees with BAR approved training. (AB 471 of 2021) See Aftermarket Matters article for more details.
  • Catalytic Converter Theft.   These new laws make it a misdemeanor for a person: 1) to possess nine or more used catalytic converters that have been cut from a vehicle unless they are a dismantler or an exempted automotive repair business and;  2) remove, alter, or obfuscate any vehicle identification number (VIN) on a converter or from possessing three or more converters that have been altered. (AB 641 & AB 1519). Also, motor vehicle dealers are prohibited from selling a vehicle equipped with a catalytic converter unless the converter has been permanently marked with the VIN unless the buyer declines the marking offered by the dealer. (SB 55).
  • BAR Sunset Review.  This new law, among other things, codifies the intent to maintain the BAR Advisory Committee; requires ARD employees who are involved in violations to attend remedial training; amends the definition of an ARD to include parties who for compensation refer customers to automotive repair dealers; requires salvage rebuilders selling a revived salvage vehicle to provide the consumer with a safety systems certificate and requires upcoming BAR towing and storage regulations to reference civil and vehicle codes and insurance regulations. (AB 1263).
  • Paid Sick Days.  This new law modifies employer sick leave and requires an employee have no less than 40 hours of accrued sick leave.  (SB 616)
  • BAR Application Updates and Certification Regulations.  These regulations update the application for BAR registration and licensure to include, among other things, ARD providing email address and BAR accepting nationally recognized and industry-accepted educational certifications and any Bureau-approved educational certifications as part of the application. (AB 471 of 2021).
  • New Motor Vehicle Board.  Modifies several laws governing the relationships between motor vehicle manufacturers and franchisees that operate car dealership.  (AB 473)
  • Vehicle Cruising.  Repeals the authority for a local authority to adopt rules and regulations regarding vehicle cruising and allows for such activity.  (AB 436)
  • Workplace Violence.  Effective July 1, 2024, employers must develop and adopt a comprehensive workplace violence prevention program, either as part of their injury and illness prevention programs or as a separate document.  (SB 553)
  • Cannabis Use.  Changes cannabis testing procedures and prevents employers from discriminating against employers for off-the-job cannabis use.  The law also prohibits employers from requesting information from an applicant for employment relating to the applicant’s prior use of cannabis. There are exemptions. (SB 700 and AB 2188 of 2022).
  • Noncompete Agreements.  Prohibits employers from entering into or attempting to enforce noncompete agreements with employees.  This new law establishes that noncompete agreements are void in California.  (SB 699).  Additionally, employers are required to notify current employees and former employees in writing by February 2024 that any non-compete agreements they may have signed are void. (AB 1076)
  • Reproductive Loss.  This law expands current California unpaid leave by requiring employers with five or more employees, to offer up to five days unpaid leave when an employee suffers a “reproductive loss event,” i.e. miscarriage, stillbirth, failed adoption, failed surrogacy, or unsuccessful assisted reproduction. (SB 848)
  • Empowering Local Prosecutors. This new law empowers local prosecutors (e.g., district attorney, city attorney, etc.)  to prosecute civil or criminal action for violations of the state’s labor code that occur within the prosecutor’s geographic jurisdiction. (AB 594)

This summary has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. (View/Download this Article as a PDF)


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