GA Joins 16 States: Opposing Federal Rules on Abortion Accommodations for Workers

GA Joins 16 States: Opposing Federal Rules on Abortion Accommodations for Workers

Republican Attorneys General Challenge Federal Rules Entitling Workers to Abortion Accommodations

Introduction

Republican attorneys general from 17 states, including Georgia, recently filed a lawsuit challenging new federal rules entitling workers to time off and other accommodations for abortions. The rules were adopted on a 3-2 vote along party lines by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and will become effective on June 18, 2024. The attorneys general argue that the regulations go beyond the scope of a federal law passed with bipartisan support in 2022. The new federal law is called the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and provides guidance for employers and workers. One of the provisions in the act is that workers can ask for time off to obtain an abortion and recover from the procedure.

Details of the Lawsuit

The lawsuit was led by Tennessee and Arkansas. It argues that the new regulations issued by the EEOC wrongly interpret the PWFA by requiring employers to accommodate employees’ abortions, even if the abortions would be illegal under state law. The lawsuit also claims that the Biden administration is trying to force through administrative fiat what it could not pass through Congress.

Response from The EEOC and Advocates

The EEOC has stated that the PWFA does not require employers or their health plans to cover abortion-related costs. The agency has also said that 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, which does not have to be paid. Advocates of the PWFA, such as A Better Balance, have called the lawsuit a baseless attack on the law’s protections. Dina Bakst, the group’s co-president, said in a statement that the lawsuit represents a bad faith effort to politicize what is a vital protection for the health and economic security of millions of families, and a continuation of the alarming attacks on women’s health and reproductive choice.

Conclusion

The lawsuit filed by Republican attorneys general from 17 states challenging the new federal rules entitling workers to abortion accommodations calls the regulations an illegal interpretation of the PWFA. The case has received criticism from advocates for the law, who see it as an attack on women’s health and reproductive choice. The debate over the PWFA is likely to continue, and it remains to be seen how the lawsuit will ultimately be resolved.

Originally Post From https://www.law.com/dailyreportonline/2024/04/26/ga-joins-16-states-challenging-federal-rules-entitling-workers-to-abortion-accommodations/

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