LOCAL NEWS

17 states, including Utah, challenge federal rules entitling workers to accommodations for abortion

Apr 25, 2024, 7:06 PM

a medical room representing the debate over accommodation for abortion...

FILE - An exam room is seen inside Planned Parenthood on March 10, 2023. Republican attorneys general from 17 states filed a lawsuit Thursday, April 25, 2024, challenging new federal rules entitling workers to time off and other accommodations for abortions, calling the rules an illegal interpretation of a 2022 federal law. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Republican attorneys general from 17 states filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging new federal rules entitling workers to time off and other accommodations for abortions, calling the rules an illegal interpretation of a 2022 federal law. Utah is among the states.

The lawsuit led by Tennessee and Arkansas comes since finalized federal regulations were published on Monday to provide guidance for employers and workers on how to implement the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The language means workers can ask for time off to obtain an abortion and recover from the procedure.

The rules, which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission adopted on a 3-2 vote along party lines, will go into effect June 18. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Arkansas argues the regulations go beyond the scope of the 2022 law that passed with bipartisan support.

“This is yet another attempt by the Biden administration to force through administrative fiat what it cannot get passed through Congress,” Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin said in a statement. “Under this radical interpretation of the PWFA, business owners will face federal lawsuits if they don’t accommodate employees’ abortions, even if those abortions are illegal under state law.”

An EEOC spokesperson referred questions to the Justice Department, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A Better Balance, one of the most vocal advocates for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, called the lawsuit a baseless attack on the law’s protections.

“This 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,” Dina Bakst, the group’s co-president, said in a statement. “We are committed to fighting to defend workers’ rights under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.”

The EEOC has said the new law does not obligate employers or employer-sponsored health plans to cover abortion-related costs, and that the type of accommodation that most likely will be sought under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act regarding an abortion is time off to attend a medical appointment or for recovery, which does not have to be paid.

The other states joining the lawsuit are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and West Virginia.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Elder Paul Hardin and Sister Mary Hardin, missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day...

Mark Jones

Sister missionary, 65, killed in California crash

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Sunday evening a sister missionary died following a vehicle crash Saturday night in California.

7 hours ago

a black and white police car...

Mark Jones

Police investigating apparent murder-suicide in Salt Lake City home

Salt Lake City police are investigating the death of a father and his son as an apparent murder-suicide.

8 hours ago

People who live near the intersection of 2300 East and Canyon Road in Spanish Fork voiced their fru...

Kiersten Nunez

Residents express concern over Spanish Fork intersection where 2 young girls were hit

One day after two teenage girls were critically injured after being struck by a car, Spanish Fork residents voiced their concerns over the safety of the intersection.

9 hours ago

The South Salt Lake Police Department is pictured on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. The South Salt Lake Po...

Devin Oldroyd, KSL.com

South Salt Lake Police Department searching for missing, endangered 13-year-old

The South Salt Lake Police Department is looking for a missing and endangered 13-year-old girl Sunday.

12 hours ago

FILE (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Man critically injured in Salt Lake City stabbing

A man is in critical condition after he was stabbed in the Avenues neighborhood of downtown Salt Lake early Sunday.

15 hours ago

police lights...

Mary Culbertson

Six killed, 10 injured in Idaho Falls crash involving passenger van

Six people were killed and 10 others were injured in an Idaho Falls crash after a pickup truck collided with a passenger van.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

17 states, including Utah, challenge federal rules entitling workers to accommodations for abortion