Tennessee Leads Coalition Suing EEOC Over New Abortion Accommodation Rule

Tennessee and 16 other states are suing the EEOC over its new rule requiring workplace accommodations for abortions.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, along with Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, is leading a coalition of 17 states in a lawsuit against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The lawsuit challenges the EEOC’s new rule that mandates workplace accommodations for abortions, which the states argue is an illegal interpretation of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2022 (PWFA).

The PWFA was designed to protect pregnant women in the workplace by ensuring they receive accommodations to promote their comfort, health, and the well-being of their babies. The bipartisan legislation was supported by a diverse coalition of lawmakers, business groups, and nonprofit organizations.

However, the EEOC’s new rule seeks to extend these protections to include accommodations for elective abortions, which the states argue is not authorized by the Act. The states contend that the EEOC’s rule constitutes an unconstitutional federal overreach, infringing on existing state laws and exceeding the agency’s authority.

If the EEOC’s rule is upheld, the 17 states involved in the lawsuit, as well as numerous employers, would be forced to allocate resources to support elective abortions or face federal liability, even in states that have lawfully restricted elective abortions. The states have filed this complaint to enjoin and set aside the EEOC’s mandate.

The full brief filed by the states can be read here.

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