NY Attorney General’s Coalition Steps Up to Defend Protections for Pregnant Workers

New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of over 20 attorney generals defending a proposed rule issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to implement the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) of 2022. The PWFA is a landmark federal legislation that requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for a broad range of conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth, including an employee’s decision to seek abortion care.

In late 2023, the EEOC proposed a rule that would implement the PWFA and, amongst other things, require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for workers whose pregnancies are terminated by abortion—most commonly in the form of time off for recovery or to attend a medical appointment.

In April 2024, a group of states sued the EEOC in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, arguing against the requirement of reasonable accommodations for abortion care and seeking to stop the implementation of the entire EEOC rule pending the outcome of the litigation. In response the NY Attorney General and the coalition filed an amicus brief, or a written argument that aims to provide historical context and outside information or expertise to the court which judges or justices may not already have at their disposal. They argued that job loss due to pregnancy discrimination can impoverish workers and families by destabilizing economic security during a critical time in their lives. The coalition also argued that the PWFA provides protections for pregnant and postpartum workers, particularly low-way workers and workers of color who are more likely to suffer negative health outcomes during pregnancy as a result of their jobs. Moreover, the coalition claims that the EEOC was correct in the termination of pregnancy—including miscarriage, stillbirth, and abortion—in the law’s protections for “pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.”

If you have any questions about your rights as a worker or believe you may have been a victim of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500.


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