Petition Closed
Petitioning State Of California and 3 others
2 responses
This petition will be delivered to:
State Of California
California State House
California State Senate
California Governor

Enact AB 1999 to End Discrimination Against Workers with Families

Assembly Bill 1999 by Assemblywoman Brownley would help prevent the unfair workplace discrimination that family caregivers increasingly face by adding family caregiver status to the list of protected categories under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).  

AB 1999 would prohibit Californians from being artificially penalized at work because of family responsibilities. The bill does not give workers additional rights to family leave or other time off. It does not give workers any special protections. It simply requires employers to treat workers with caregiving responsibilities the same way they treat employees without them.

AB 1999 reflects the widespread belief that workers who are doing what any responsible family member is expected to do should be treated the same as their co-workers without family caregiving responsibilities.  Similar state and local caregiver discrimination laws have already been enacted in over 22 states throughout the U.S.  It’s now time for California to act.

AB 1999 is a modest step towards establishing a baseline of fairness that could have a profound effect on many Californian families. 


Letter to
State Of California
California State House
California State Senate
and 1 other
California Governor
I just signed the following petition addressed to: California State Government.


----------------

People no longer say, “This is no job for a woman.” But they say “This is no job for a mother” all the time. For instance, janitorial supervisor Susana Macias was fired when she attempted to return to work after maternity leave, being told “women do not work as well after having a baby.” Sales representative Lindsay Johnson was told that she couldn’t do her job with a newborn, and was fired while pregnant. And when television executive producer Michelle Ureta was terminated, her managers allegedly stated that the company was doing her a favor by firing her so she could spend more time with her baby.

Discrimination against mothers is the face of gender discrimination today. One prominent study showed that mothers were 79% less likely to be hired, only half as likely to be promoted, and offered an average of $11,000 less in salary than identical women without children. Other studies show that, while women without children earn about 90% of men’s wages, mothers earn only about two-thirds of the wages of fathers.

In a recent article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” Anne-Marie Slaughter exposed this harsh reality – that caregiver discrimination is the new glass ceiling for the next generation of women. She described the assumptions an employer makes about two equally talented and productive employees – one who trains for marathons when he is not working, the other who takes care of her two children. The employer praises and promotes the marathon runner, who is perceived as ferociously disciplined for finding time to train after work. In contrast, the mother shows similar endurance in her ability to squeeze in child care obligations before and after work, yet she is perceived as uncommitted to her job and may face discrimination as a result. Slaughter explains, “The discipline, organization, and sheer endurance it takes to succeed at top levels with young children at home is easily comparable to running 20 to 40 miles a week. But that’s rarely how employers see things…”

Research also shows that men who take time off for family caregiving often suffer serious job penalties, presumably on the assumption that child care is the province of women. Thus Bakersfield firefighter Derrick Tisinger, a single father, was denied a promotion when he swapped shifts in order to care for his three sons, despite the fact that his co-workers swapped shifts for a wide range of reasons. When Tisinger sued for marital status discrimination, the court overturned a jury verdict in his favor; California employment discrimination law, it held, did not offer him protection simply “because his parental responsibilities are related to his marital status.”

The one out of six adults responsible for eldercare have even less legal protection. Unless they are in the roughly half of the workforce covered by existing family leave laws—and their problem involves leave, as opposed to the need to flex their schedule—Californians have few or no legal rights. The result is that many Californians are one sick child or family member away from being fired, simply for doing what any responsible family member would do.

Now there is legislation to address what is becoming the most pressing discrimination problem in today’s workplace. Assembly Bill 1999 by Assemblywoman Brownley would help prevent the unfair workplace discrimination that family caregivers increasingly face by adding family caregiver status to the list of protected categories under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

AB 1999 would prohibit Californians from being artificially penalized at work because of family responsibilities. The bill does not give workers additional rights to family leave or other time off. It does not give workers any special protections. It simply requires employers to treat workers with caregiving responsibilities the same way they treat employees without them.

AB 1999 reflects the widespread belief that workers who are doing what any responsible family member is expected to do should be treated the same as their co-workers without family caregiving responsibilities. Similar state and local caregiver discrimination laws have already been enacted in over 22 states throughout the U.S. It’s now time for California to act.

AB 1999 is a modest step towards establishing a baseline of fairness that could have a profound effect on many Californian families. For this reason, I support AB 1999.

----------------

Sincerely,