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California Legislature

Lawmakers sign off on bill to give California teachers paid pregnancy leave

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego). (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego). (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

A bill that would provide paid pregnancy leave for teachers and school employees passed the California Assembly on Monday, and will go to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.

The bill, written by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), would require public and charter schools to give teachers and staff paid time off for pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriages or other reproductive health issues. It passed the Assembly, 52 to 11. It previously passed the Senate by a 31-8 vote.

Teachers currently have to use vacation or sick days, or forfeit pay, in order to take time off during a pregnancy. 

“Female teachers shouldn't face extra employment burdens simply because they’re pregnant," Gonzalez Fletcher said in a statement. "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.”

About 73% of California's teachers are women, according to data analyzed by the state Department of Education.

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