“Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Tuesday extending discrimination and harassment protection laws to cover disabled employees in sheltered workshops and rehabilitation facilities.
Co-authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, and Senator Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, AB 488 eliminated an exemption for sheltered workshops and rehabilitation facilities, which are employment spaces specifically created for disabled people to work in. Workers at these facilities previously did not have basic legal protections from discrimination based on race, age, religion, and gender.
“In the past, sheltered workshops and rehabilitation centers have been considered by some to be temporary training environments,” Gonzalez said in a press release. “But real-world experience has demonstrated that these are employees who often stay in their positions for many years.”
Tony Anderson, executive director of the Arc of California — a nonprofit advocacy organization for people with developmental disabilities — said initially the organization had some issues with the bill. The organization later worked with the bill’s co-authors to ensure that the bill didn’t affect 14(c) certificates, which allow sheltered workshops to pay disabled employees less than minimum wage based on an employee’s productivity…” –ASHLEY WONG