In California, New Year Brings New Regulations for Businesses

Christine Mai-Duc

California ushered in a host of laws Wednesday—the first day of the year—that will mean major changes for consumers, workers and businesses.

Passed by a Democratic legislature and governor, the laws include first-of-their-kind consumer-privacy protections, a change in the way employers classify independent contractors and a cap on rent increases in a state grappling with sky-high housing prices.

For many businesses, the laws will require significant changes to how they collect data on consumers and whether they pay workers overtime or provide paid sick leave, changes that aren’t required by any or most of the other 49 states. But rebuffing the new laws could mean taking a seat outside the state’s booming market, which boasts 39 million people and a gross domestic product of more than $3 trillion.

“Whether you’re doing business that’s headquartered or started in California or not, it’s still major business,” said Kevin McKinley, director of state government affairs for the Internet Association, an industry group that lobbies on behalf of tech companies.

Click here to read more of this Wall Street Journal article by Christine Mai-Duc.