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Bill providing safer workplace for pregnant correction officers passes committee

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Posted at 2:45 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 17:45:00-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A bill authored by Assemblyman Rudy Salas, providing more reasonable working accommodations for all pregnant correctional officers, has passed the the Assembly Committee on Public Employment and Retirement.

The bill will 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.

Assemlyman Sala introduced the bill following a 2018 lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation by a Tehachapi prison worker. Sarah Coogle claimed 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.

“The practice of denying working accommodations to pregnant correctional officers is appalling, discriminatory and unacceptable,” said Assemblymember Salas. “I am pleased to see the Legislature move one step closer to ending this senseless practice and creating an equal working environment for all correctional officers.”