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Majority Leader Aguiar-Curry Pregnancy Leave for Educators Act Passes the Assembly Floor

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Assembly Majority Leader Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D- Winters) announced that her Assembly Bill 2901 passed the Assembly Floor with resounding bipartisan support. This important legislation will grant public school employees, including community college faculty, up to 14 weeks of leave with full pay for pregnancies and pregnancy-related health issues.

Under current state law, if an educator who experiences pregnancy or pregnancy-related complications needs more time than the standard six weeks of leave, they must begin to use up their accrued sick leave.  The lack of paid disability leave contributes to problems with attracting and retaining educators in the workforce, as many educators are forced to leave the profession when they become pregnant and often do not return. In an environment where California schools and community colleges are having widespread difficulty hiring and retaining educators due in part to low pay, high housing costs, and other rising costs of living, penalizing women educators with a “gender penalty” in their retirement “throws gasoline on the fire.”

Educators who have exhausted their sick leave due to pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from those conditions are at a huge disadvantage – on average, women educators earn almost $100,000 less in retirement than their male colleagues.


“A system that forces educators to use all their sick leave and pay for their own substitute in order to start a family is shocking.  It is time we put an end to this discriminatory practice that puts women at a massive financial disadvantage,” said Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters). “AB 2901 will create more equity in the education workforce and give educators and community college faculty the necessary time off to care for themselves and their children as we ask them to give so much to care for ours.  It’s time to stop asking them to sacrifice their financial security, the health of their families, and the health of their school communities in order to do their critical jobs.”

“I am very proud that California will be the first state in the nation to issue SUN Bucks benefits to our youth. As someone who depended on government assistance in order to combat childhood hunger, I know how critical it is to ensure that our children have access to food that supports their healthy growth and development,” said Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “We know that the nutritional needs of our students do not take a break when school lets out. The combination of SUN Bucks and the California Universal School Meal Program shows our children that we are committed to showing up for them year-round.”

“This historic legislation will fix a broken system for public school educators who go without any paid leave related to pregnancy. This disproportionately harms women as they are required to deplete their sick leave balances and creates a massive gap for women educators in retirement,” said Erika Jones, California Teachers Association Secretary-Treasurer. “We are excited to hear that this legislation is headed to the Assembly floor. The 310,000 educators in the California Teachers Union fully support this legislation and urge the Assemblymembers to do the same. The Time is Now. We must correct this discriminatory practice.”

AB 2901 will end the discriminatory practice of giving pregnant employees across schools and community colleges no choice but to deplete their sick leave. This bill gives educators the time they deserve for pregnancy and matches the International Labor Organization’s recommendation of 14 weeks for maternity leave. Further, the bill aligns with the goals of the Paid Family Leave Task Force convened by Gov. Newsom in 2019 by increasing leave access, providing better job protections, and expanding the length of coverage for a critical segment of California’s workers.


Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Lake, Colusa, Napa, and                                                      Yolo Counties and part of Sonoma County.