New Rule Forces Employers to ‘Accomodate’ Abortions and Contraception

[Photo Credit: By AgnosticPreachersKid - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,]

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has now enacted a new ultra-liberal regulation that mandates most businesses to offer “reasonable accommodations” for employees facing restrictions caused by abortion or the use of contraception.

The regulation is part of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which was enacted in 2022 and became effective last year.

The covered businesses are obligated to offer “reasonable accommodations” for employees who are pursuing abortion.

The PWFA does not mandate that leave be compensated as part of these accommodations, although an employer has the option to offer paid leave if their policies allow for it.

These accommodations must be provided unless their provision would result in significant difficulty or disruption to the functioning of the enterprise.

Employers also have the option to invoke their religious beliefs as a basis for requesting an exemption from the rule.

The EEOC defines related conditions as include lactation, miscarriage, stillbirth, the decision to have or not have an abortion, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, high liver enzymes, low platelet count).

The EEOC offered illustrations of reasonable accommodations, such as designated breaks for eating, drinking, or using the restroom; provision of a stool for sitting during work; granting time off for healthcare appointments; temporary reassignments or suspension of certain job responsibilities; and allowing time off for recuperation after childbirth, miscarriage, or other medical conditions.

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