On January 23, 2024, Judge Christopher E. Kreuger of the Sacramento Superior Court, issued a Temporary Restraining Order against the State of California, Attorney General Rob Bonta and the Department of Justice (DOJ), all named Defendants in a lawsuit preventing them from enforcing a specific new regulation to the California Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015 (RIPA). The regulation was designed to require all peace officers in the state of California making pedestrian and traffic stops to disclose their own gender identity to their employers as part of the RIPA reporting process.
Rains Lucia Stern was part of the legal team representing Plaintiffs Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), California Association of Highway Patrolmen (CAHP) as well as the California Police Chiefs Association and the California State Sheriffs’ Association. Our position is that the new regulation (Cal. Code of Regs. Tit. 11, section 999.226(a)(23) is inconsistent with regulations to the California Fair Employment and Hosuing Act (FEHA) which prohibit employers from inquiring about the gender identity of their employees. Furthermore, we asserted that the new regulation violated peace officers’ privacy rights. In fact, the DOJ’s own website affirms these privacy rights for California employees (albeit not specifically for peace officers):
You have the right to disclose – or not disclose – your gender identity on your own terms, regardless of your age. . . . Under the California and U.S. constitutions, you have a protected right to privacy, which includes the right to keep your sexual orientation, gender identity or that you are transgender private (what courts call a “reasonable expectation of privacy”). In other words, you have the right to control to what extent and to whom you disclose highly personal information about your sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Court’s Order prevents all law enforcement agencies from requiring peace officers to disclose their gender identity until such time as a full hearing on the matter will be held. As of the submission of this article, Judge Krueger has set March 19th for the hearing to determine whether a preliminary injunction will be issued.