“Many new laws passed by the California legislature will go in to effect this year. Here’s a small sample of some of the new regulations affecting employers, workers and all Californians in 2022:

  • California’s minimum wage rises to $15 per hour, the final step in a six-year process. Businesses with 25 or fewer workers will have an additional year to comply and must raise their minimum wage to $14 per hour.
  • California restaurants can continue to sell to-go cocktails with food orders for five more years.
  • Restaurants may continue outdoor dining options where alcohol is served for an additional year once the pandemic emergency orders are lifted.
  • Beginning in June, restaurants can only provide single-use utensils and condiment packets on request, similar to the existing law on single-use plastic straws.
  • Food delivery apps must itemize all fees charged above the restaurant’s menu price and to pay tips given to drivers or the restaurant.
  • Beginning in July, diaper wipes and other disposable wipes must include “do not flush” labeling.
  • California’s composting law begins to go into effect this year. Residents and businesses must separate organic waste from other refuse. This also requires supermarkets, restaurants and other businesses to donate at least 20% of unused, edible food.
  • Health insurance companies must offer free COVID-19 testing to their customers, eliminating surprise fees and guaranteeing access to tests and vaccinations even when someone is out of their healthcare provider’s network.
  • Voters in all statewide elections will receive a ballot in the mail, regardless of whether they signed up for absentee voting. Those who still want to vote in person can do so by surrendering the mailed ballot at a voting location.
  • Sellers of olive oil marketed as being from California must include on the label the percentage of the product made from olives grown in the state.
  • Beginning in July, businesses offering online subscriptions must allow consumers to cancel any time and without further steps such as taking a lengthy survey. In addition, businesses must notify consumers before free trials and promotions lasting longer than 31 days expire and before annual subscriptions automatically renew.

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