Biden’s EEOC Says Employers Must Accommodate Workers’ Abortions

 The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a final rule on Monday including abortion in the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA).

The final rule dictates that, under the PWFA, employers with 15 or more employees must provide the same accommodations to workers who have abortions as those who have “limitations related to…pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.”

The PWFA passed with bipartisan support in 2022, and did not include language about abortion. Instead, the law was created to allow reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant and postpartum mothers such as time off and flexible breaks, unless the accommodation would result in an undue hardship for the employer.

PWFA’s leading Republican cosponsor, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), said in a statement on Monday:

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act aims to assist pregnant mothers who remain in the workforce by choice or necessity as they bring their child to term and recover after childbirth. It defies common sense, and Congress’ intent, that EEOC continues to inject abortion into a law specifically aimed at promoting healthy childbirth.

“The Biden administration must enforce the law as passed by Congress, not how they wish it were passed. The decision to disregard the legislative process to promote a political agenda is shocking and illegal,” Cassidy added. 

The EEOC explained in the rule that law “does not require any employee to have — or not to have — an abortion, does not require taxpayers to pay for any abortions, and does not compel health care providers to provide any abortions. The PWFA also cannot be used to require an employer-sponsored health plan to pay for or cover any particular item, procedure, or treatment, including an abortion.” 

Given these limitations, the type of accommodation that most likely will be sought under the PWFA regarding an abortion is time off to attend a medical appointment or for recovery. The PWFA, like the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), does not require that leave as an accommodation be paid leave, so leave will be unpaid unless the employer’s policies provide otherwise,” the agency clarified. 

The EEOC said it received roughly 100,000 public comments on the rule. Approximately 54,000 comments express that the commission should exclude abortion from its definition of a medical condition related to pregnancy, while 40,000 comments were in support of its inclusion, the agency said. 

“As shown in the public comments, beliefs about when an abortion may be morally or religiously permissible, even within religious traditions, are not monolithic,” the agency wrote.

Many of the comments urging the Commission to exclude abortion from the definition of ‘pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions’ expressed the view that abortion is the destruction of a human life, that it is objectionable for moral or religious reasons, and that it is not health care,” the agency added. 

“The Commission recognizes these are sincere, deeply held convictions and are often part of an individual’s religious beliefs. The Commission also received many comments that expressed deeply held beliefs, including religious beliefs, that abortion is a necessary part of health care and that an employer’s religious beliefs should not dictate an employee’s ability to receive a reasonable accommodation under the PWFA.”

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) released a statement saying the EEOC “correctly takes a comprehensive view of pregnancy and related medical conditions—ensuring the law will provide protections to more women who need them.”

In contrast, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) called the updated rule “controversial,” and accused the Biden administration of “using the regulatory process to advance radical policy goals.”

“Adding this controversial provision into the PWFA is wrong. Period. Abortion is not a medical condition related to pregnancy; it is the opposite. Leave it to the Biden administration to think terminating a pregnancy and ending the life of an unborn child addresses the needs of pregnant workers,” Foxx said. 

She added: 

This rule also goes well beyond EEOC’s authority. The PWFA was intended to ensure employers provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees. The PWFA does not apply to abortions. The term ‘abortion’ is not once mentioned in the law. Instead of following congressional intent, the Biden administration is using the regulatory process to advance radical policy goals. This isn’t surprising given the administration’s predilection for abusing the Constitution.

The cherry on top, it is overly broad and unreasonable, causing chaos and confusion for workers and employers. Job creators who are already struggling under Bidenomics could be forced to provide years of federally mandated leave under this rule. It’s nonsensical.

“Bottom line, this is a classic example of government bureaucrats royally mucking it up,” she said. 

Biden’s EEOC Says Employers Must Accommodate Workers’ Abortions Biden’s EEOC Says Employers Must Accommodate Workers’ Abortions Reviewed by Your Destination on April 18, 2024 Rating: 5

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