LOS ANGELES – The California Women’s Law Center (CWLC) is pleased to report that California Governor Jerry Brown ended the legislative session this week by signing several bills focused on increased legal protections for women and girls in California.
Most notably, the governor signed bills providing protections to prevent sexual assault and support survivors, put in place protections for female employees and ensure women have control over their reproductive health decisions.
Bills strengthening women and families this session include Senate Bill 1053 (Mitchell) which ensures women have access to the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods, Assembly Bill 1517 (Skinner) puts in place guidelines to make sure rape kits are processed in a timely manner, AB 1522 (Gonzalez) guarantees a minimum of three paid sick days for workers and Senate Bill 967 (De Leon), commonly know as the “yes-means-yes” bill, defines affirmative consent and requires colleges and universities to educate students about consent laws and sexual assault.
“As Californians, we should be proud that we remain the leader on a number of issues important to women and families. We continue to underscore a woman’s right to make decisions about her reproductive options and it’s about time California took the issue of campus sexual assault seriously,” said Betsy Butler, CWLC Interim Executive Director. “There is still an immense amount of work to be done to ensure justice and equality for California women including addressing ongoing working condition and pay equity issues as well as ensuring our classrooms and campuses are safe and equal learning environments for everyone.”
Governor Brown signed a total of seven bills supported by CWLC this session including:
· Assembly Bill 1443 (Skinner) extends basic workplace protections against sex discrimination and harassment to unpaid interns.
· Assembly Bill 1517 (Skinner) puts in place guidelines to make sure rape kits are processed in a timely manner.
· Assembly Bill 1522 (Gonzalez) guarantees a minimum of three paid sick days for workers in California.
· Assembly Bill 2350 (Bonilla) strengthens and clarifies existing protections provided to pregnant students under Title IX including the right to take a leave of absence without loosing their spot in their graduate program, the right to reasonable accommodations and the right to attend any and all classes offered by their college.
· Senate Bill 1053 (Mitchell) ensures women have access to the full range of contraceptive methods approved by the FDA.
· Senate Bill 1135 (Jackson) prohibits sterilization as a form of birth control for women confined in California correctional facilities and enacts critical safeguards that properly monitor and restrict sterilization procedures to those that are medically needed or necessary and where consent is properly obtained.
· Senate Bill 1349 (Jackson) strengthens Title IX enforcement in elementary and secondary schools to ensure that girls have the same opportunities to participate in competitive sports as boys by requiring schools to report on sports participation rates by gender.
About the California Women’s Law Center
Since its founding in 1989, the California Women’s Law Center (CWLC) has worked to eliminate the barriers that keep women and girls in poverty. CWLC breaks down barriers and advances the potential of women and girls through transformative litigation, policy advocacy and education. CWLC is a leader in Title IX education and enforcement in California at the high school level and advocate for the unique needs of women veterans. For more information, visit www.cwlc.org.
For Immediate Release
October 1, 2014
Andrew DeBlock, California Women’s Law Center - firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-821-0185