New Laws Take Effect This Year

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New law is about more than just offering clients new legal help. It’s about embracing technology, focusing on process and expanding the scope of legal services in a way that opens up new opportunities for law firms to succeed.

A growing number of NYU Law students are choosing to specialize in emerging areas of the law such as data privacy, cybersecurity and entrepreneurship. While these specializations are only a small portion of the legal landscape, they are gaining prominence and can serve as a lucrative addition to a law firm’s practice.

In California, legislators and Gov. Gavin Newsom enacted more than 1,200 bills this year, and many of those passed into law with little or no fanfare. Some, however, could have a significant impact on the day-to-day lives of the state’s residents, or change the direction of a particular industry.

For example, a new law takes effect this week banning firearms in many public places and stiffening permitting requirements for gun owners who want to carry handguns outside their homes. The law also requires gun permit applicants to provide character references, contact information for family members and people they live with, and information about their social media accounts. The law has already prompted some gun companies to shutter their stores in the wake of heightened safety concerns and fears of being sued by customers who say they were unaware of the risks.

Another newly enacted law is intended to put more transparency on how much companies pay their workers. The new law requires employers to list salary ranges in job postings and will soon require large businesses to publish their salaries broken down by position, gender and race. But intense business opposition killed a proposal to require that employers publish their pay data in a database accessible to the general public, and some experts question whether the new law will make a difference.

Other laws that recently passed and will take effect this year include one requiring police departments to record the audio of interrogations, and one allowing employees who have been fired to claim unemployment benefits. The legislation to be considered by the state legislature next year includes several proposals that would expand background checks and require convicted domestic abusers to register weapons.

Several other local laws taking effect this year include one requiring City agencies to provide notice to their employees and applicants regarding student loan forgiveness programs, and one that requires fast food employers to discharge layoffs by inverse seniority (i.e., those hired first will be discharged last). See details on all the newly enacted City laws in this article.

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