by Photo courtesy of California State Capitol

A series of new laws will be implemented in California slated for Jan.1., including an increased minimum wage, penalties for police misconduct, greater punishments for sex offenders, wage theft taken more seriously among many others.  

Californians will see an increase in the minimum wage, which goes into effect on Saturday. Companies with 25 or fewer employees will pay $14 per hour, and those with more than 25 employees will pay $15 an hour. With this law, full-time employees receiving $14 an hour will be paid $ 2,680 per month, and full-time employees earning $15 an hour will receive $2,880 per month. 

In the new year, employers who steal over $950 in wages from at least one employee in the state of California will face felony charges. Tips are also considered wages. Prosecutors may obtain warrants to review facilities and documentation. 

Under different upcoming state laws, food delivery service workers will be awarded tips for their service, and not for the business they serve. Establishments will receive tips if a customer chooses to tip when picking up their order. Otherwise, tips will be awarded to workers delivering the food. 

Another law will increase the price of bacon. This new law regulates the treatment of pigs, which will result in greater investment in the industry. Pigs are required to have enough space between them. This means pig farmers will have to acquire more land to raise them in most cases. 

Going into effect next Saturday, authorities will be prohibited from publishing photos of detainees suspected of committing crimes to protect their individual rights. The new law authorizes the publication of photos if detainees are found guilty or plead guilty. 

Police officers who act with misconduct face the possibility of decertification. Prior to this new law, police officers would be suspended from operating in the field for misconduct. In the worst cases, police officers would be fired but would have the ability to find a contract with another law enforcement agency. The new law would strip police officers guilty of misconduct of their license, and they will be unable to find similar jobs. 

Penalties for marital rape will be enforced with a new law. Assailants would be charged for sexual crimes against their spouse, putting an end to the antiquated distinction between "rape" and "spousal rape". In California, rapists are incarcerated and registered as sex offenders, which makes their photos and addresses publicly known. Authorities notify the community where a rapist is going to live. Those found guilty of rape against their spouse will face similar penalties. 

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