Capitol Alert

Your boss couldn’t fire you for using birth control under California bill

Some women are stocking up on birth control or switching to IUD's amid fears of birth control becoming more difficult to get.
Some women are stocking up on birth control or switching to IUD's amid fears of birth control becoming more difficult to get. Los Angeles Times

How Californians manage their reproductive health may soon be protected in the workplace.

Assembly Bill 569, which the Assembly sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday in a 45-13 vote, would prohibit employers from punishing workers who use birth control, get an abortion or make other reproductive health decisions they disagree with.

Supporters, such as co-sponsor NARAL Pro-Choice California, argue women should not be judged for their private health choices. They point to examples like Teri James, who in 2012 was allegedly fired from her job at San Diego Christian College for getting pregnant out of wedlock.

“It’s an issue of basic health, privacy and worker rights,” Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, the San Diego Democrat who carried the measure, said.

Business groups, including the California Chamber of Commerce, oppose the measure for opening another avenue of potential litigation. Some Catholic and other religious organizations raised objections that it would infringe upon their freedom to practice their faith as they choose.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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