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New Year, New Laws

January 3, 2018

It’s 2018 now, which means a bunch of laws passed by legislatures around the country have now taken effect. Here are some of the most interesting and amusing ones.

New 2018 Laws

Facebook Checks

Keep posting those Facebook rants about what a jerk your boss is…if you live in Vermont. Employers in the Green Mountain State are now barred from asking or requiring employees to show their social media content. 

Pet Custody

When a couple gets divorced, who gets custody of the kids? That’s for a family court to decide. But who gets the pets? In Illinois, dogs and cats are going to be treated more like children than property, with legal agreements that can grant full or partial custody to one or both “parents.”

Travelling Barber

Need a haircut but don’t want to go down to the salon, thumb through some old magazines, and wait 45 minutes for them to take a little off the top? Consider a move to Tennessee. Barbers and hair stylists are now legally permitted to make in-home cuts to anyone, not just the ill or the elderly.

Fireworks

Pennsylvanians, feel free to accidentally light your hands on fire. Consumer-Level, Fourth of July-style fireworks are now much more legal there, although they carry a 12 percent sales tax and you can only use them on private property.

Feminine Products

In California, schools that teach grade 6 and above whose students have a student body with a poverty rate of 40 percent of above must provide free feminine hygiene products.

Changing Stations

Also in California, men aren’t going to be able to get out of changing diapers as much. The Golden State’s legislature now requires large public places (stadiums, malls) to have baby changing tables in the men’s rooms, as well as in the women’s.

Minimum Wage

The federally-mandated minimum wage is still set at $7.25 an hour. But individual states are free to make it higher, should they so desire. As of January 1, the lowest wage allowed in Washington is $11.50 per hour.

Elephant Bans

Elephants are now banned from circuses, traveling exhibitions, and other entertainments making their way through Illinois.

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