California Assembly Bill 569 (AB 569) recently cleared the Assembly on a 54-17 vote and will soon move to the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. AB 569, the Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Act, would protect California workers from workplace discrimination based on personal reproductive health choices.
What is California AB 569?
California AB 569 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, would ensure that employees in California would not be terminated or disciplined due to pregnancy or other reproductive health choices such as in-vitro fertilization, or using birth control.
AB 569 would amend provisions of California labor law by:
- Prohibiting California employers from requiring employees to sign waivers or other codes of conduct, or similar documents that deny employees the right to make their own reproductive health care decisions, including the use of a particular drug, device, or medical service.
- Requiring California employers to provide employee handbooks to employees that includes employee rights and remedies under provisions of the bill.
AB 569 Would Protect Employees Working for Religious Institutions
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a single woman was fired from a Christian college in San Diego when she became pregnant in 2012. And in 2015, the archdiocese attempted to impose a "morality clause" that asked employees to follow the church's teachings on reproductive matters like contraception use and same-sex marriage. These occurrences and others in California had been catalysts for introducing the bill.
AB 569 states that "employees of religiously affiliated institutions are entitled to the same protections as any other employee under the California Labor Code." However, there are exceptions to this rule such as when an employee is a functional equivalent of a minister.
You can read the bill in its entirety here: AB 569 Discrimination: Reproductive Health
No one should ever have to face discrimination at work. If you feel that your California employer is subjecting you to workplace discrimination based on a protected characteristic under California or federal law, contact our experienced Los Angeles employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz for a free consultation today.