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Assemblymember Rudy Salas introduces bill to protect pregnant correctional officers

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Posted at 3:39 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 18:40:01-05

Assemblymember Rudy Salas introduced AB 1906, a bill designed to provide "reasonable working accommodations for all pregnant correctional officers to improve workplace conditions for female officers."

In 2018 former Tehachapi prison worker Sarah Coogle sued the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation claiming she was denied reasonable accommodations while she was pregnant and working at the Tehachapi prison. She says she fell while responding to prison fight in July of 2017 and lost her unborn baby two months after the fall.

Coogle says it could have been prevented if she was given lighter duty but says she was denied by the CDCR even after providing a doctor's note.

Coogle settled with the CDCR for $1.4 million for the civil matter and near $300,000 in worker's compensation in August 2019.

“The practice of denying working accommodations to pregnant correctional officers is appalling, discriminatory and unacceptable,” said Assemblymember Salas in a statement. “This bill will ensure that this senseless practice is put to an end and will help to provide an equal opportunity working environment for all correctional officers.”

According to the statement from Salas's office, AB 1906 would require CDCR to provide light-duty accommodations to all pregnant correctional officers, removing the possibility that correctional officers will face the decision in the future to continue working in a job that could risk their babies’ health, take a demotion, or take a leave absence.