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Restaurant Owners-new laws effecting employers for 2014

December 16, 2013
Changes to California laws affecting employers generally and the food and beverage industry specifically may have implications for restaurant operators across the state.

Laws that captured the attention of the press in 2013 included minimum wage increases, enterprise zone credits and adjustments to Proposition 65 enforcement.  To see new laws by region visit the CRA website.

See below for a complete list of new state laws that may affect restaurants in 2014:


AB 10 (Alejo-D)

Minimum wage increase

Increase minimum wage from $8 to $9 on July 1, 2014 and from $9 to $10 by January 1, 2016. No indexing.

AB 93 
(Budget Trailer)

EnterpriseZone credits

Eliminates the current hiring tax credit beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Existing employers in enterprise zones can collect credits for existing employees hired before that date for as long as five years. Unused credits can be carried forward for as long as 10 years. Hiring credits would be available only to employers paying at least 150% of the state minimum wage. Restaurants and foodservice are among the excluded businesses, unless they are a small business with gross receipts of less than $2 million.

AB 227

Proposition 65 enforcement

Allows a business that receives a notice for allegedly violating the warning provisions of Proposition 65 to correct the violation within 14 days and pay a civil penalty of $500.

AB 393 (Cooley-D)

Business fee schedules

Requires the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to post on its website information or links to information about licensing, permitting and registration requirements for starting a business as well as the associated fee information or links to the fee schedules.

AB 483

Tourism Marketing Districts

Protects and preserves Tourism Marketing Districts and Business Improvement Districts by clarifying a few key terms related to the implementation of Proposition 26, which defines a local tax and sets out the categories of charges that are excluded from that definition.

AB 593


Alcoholic beverage licenses / Streamlined protest process

Restaurants will no longer be required when applying for or transfer of an alcohol license to publish notification in regional print media in those cases where individual notifications are already being mailed directly to area residents. In addition, the legislation requires ABC by Jan. 1, 2016 to promulgate regulations defining what constitutes an invalid or unreasonable protest with respect to a license application.

AB 647 (Chesbro-D)

Beer manufacturers / Growlers

Revises the definition of “beer manufacturer” to include only those who have facilities and equipment for the purposes of, and are engaged in, the commercial manufacture of beer. Additionally, requires a beer label to include the brand and type of beer and would also require a beer manufacturer that refills any container (growler) supplied by a consumer to affix a label, on the container prior to its resale to the consumer.

AB 1964 (Yamada-D)

Employment discrimination

Makes a number of changes to provisions of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) related to religious accommodation in employment aimed at protecting “religious dress and grooming practices.”

AB 1252 (Comm. On Health)

Retail food safety / Bare hand contact

Sponsored by the Retail Food Safety Coalition, updates food-to-hand contact, conforms federal law changes to the definition of service animals, and clarifies food-worker health requirements. Generally prohibits food employees from contacting ready-to-eat food with their bare hands, but permits bare hand contact in limited, specified circumstances as long as food employees are “not serving a highly susceptible population.”

SB 400 (Jackson–D)

Employment protections

Prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee because of the employee’s known status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking if the victim provides notice to the employer of the status or the employer has actual knowledge of the status. Additionally, requires the employer to provide reasonable accommodations that may include the implementation of safety measures or procedures for such a victim.


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