WASHINGTON, D.C. —In a comment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Boyden Gray PLLC Managing Partner Jonathan Berry lauds the proposed rule for its protection of women’s rights, pregnancy accommodations and security for families. However, he stresses that the agency’s inclusion of abortion in a proposed rule regarding implementation of the bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) appears to seek, through regulatory interpretation, a policy objective that could not pass through the current Congress.
Berry, the former head of rulemaking at the U.S. Department of Labor, writes that the proposed rule threatens the separation of powers and will invite an inevitable legal challenge that delays the law’s full enactment – potentially leaving pregnant mothers unprotected in the workplace.
The comment was filed on behalf of pro-life women legal scholars committed to the rights of women and the flourishing of families, including: Helen Alvaré, the Robert A. Levy Endowed Chair in Law and Liberty at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University; Erika Bachiochi, a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center; and Ivana Greco, an attorney with expertise in employee benefits and ERISA.
An excerpt from the comment follows:
“The proposals include much that we celebrate as pro-women and pro-family, proposals that protect women and their unborn children when they are at their most economically vulnerable. But the proposals also threaten religious liberty, free speech, and advocacy for the unborn. We urge the Commission to reconsider its inclusion of abortion as a ‘related medical condition,’ to clarify what qualifies as ‘coercion’ under the Act, and to adopt a rule of construction consistent with RFRA and the First Amendment.”