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EEOC Issues Rule

Tue, April 16, 2024 9:35 AM | Anonymous

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its final rule on April 15th enforcing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), giving new protections for women seeking abortions. The EEOC rule includes abortions under the definition of “pregnancy, childbirth or related medical considerations” requiring that employers with 15 or more employees give time off to attend to undertake an abortion procedure and/or for recovery.  Essentially, the EEOC found that a worker can seek a reasonable accommodation related to an abortion as a potential reason.  However, the law’s requirements are narrow and will likely concern only a request by a qualified employee for leave from work.

As the EEOC makes clear in its final rule, does not require that employers give paid time off to employees seeking abortions and does not compel employers or employer-sponsored health insurance plans to pay for the procedure, according to the rule. Employers also do not have to pay for the travel expenses of women seeking abortions. Moreover, employers can include religious defenses and undue hardship, as defense or to reject a request for accommodation depending on the situation.

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