Assembly Sends Bill Requiring Pregnancy Leave for Teachers To Governor Brown
Bill Aims to Alleviate Teacher Shortage With Critical Workplace Benefit for Future Moms
SACRAMENTO – (Monday, Sept. 11, 2017) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) today won final Legislative approval of her bill requiring paid leave for pregnant teachers and other school employees. The bill, which will prevent discrimination and alleviate the state’s dire shortage of teachers, now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown for his consideration.
AB 568 passed the Assembly today on a 52-11 vote.
“We have a dire teacher shortage in California,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher said. “Female teachers shouldn’t face extra employment burdens simply because they’re pregnant. It’s unfair. It’s discriminatory. And it will drive more and more women away from the profession at a time when we can least afford to do so.”
As it stands, many female teachers are forced to use vacation or sick days or forfeit pay when taking time off work for a pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage or other issues related to their reproductive health. AB 568 would require public and charter schools to provide paid leave of absence for women in these situations. The bill comes at a time when California schools are having enormous problems hiring teachers, in part because of low pay and skyrocketing housing costs. What’s more, a large majority of California’s credentialed teachers – roughly 73 percent – are women, according to 2014-2015 data analyzed by the state Department of Education. AB 568 would provide a benefit that not only eliminates a basic inequity – eliminating a patent example of gender discrimination – but also creates another incentive for young women to pursue a career in teaching.
For more information on this issue or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher, contact Alex Roth at 619-228-3253.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County, including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, and National City. She serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Women in the Workplace, and Vice Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. For more information on Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher visit https://a80.asmdc.org/