A Republican commissioner on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is investigating whether at least three companies are discriminating against pregnant employees who choose life for their unborn babies.
Bloomberg Law reports several lawyers confirmed that EEOC Commissioner Andrea Lucas launched the investigation into companies that recently began offering to pay travel expenses for employees who want elective abortions.
Dozens of major companies now offer abortion travel benefits in response to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. The ruling means states may protect unborn babies from abortion again, and 14 already have done so.
Some companies, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Lyft and Hulu, have been accused of pushing pregnant employees toward abortions by not offering similar benefits for those who choose life for their babies.
The EEOC and Lucas, a Republican on the five-member commission, said they cannot comment on on-going investigations, but lawyers who saw the allegations told Bloomberg about it. The report does not name the companies that Lucas is investigating.
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Here’s more from the report:
The “commissioner charges” allege that the employers are favoring workers seeking abortions while discriminating against pregnant workers and disabled workers because they are not offering equivalent benefits for their medical needs, according to the attorneys. …
As with any charge, a commissioner charge is investigated by an EEOC district office. If the agency believes discrimination occurred, it will try to conciliate with the employer, and if that fails, it can opt to sue. A lawsuit raising novel legal arguments like those articulated in Lucas’s charges likely would require commission approval.
Lucas’s investigation may have been prompted by complaints from America First Legal. In July, the conservative law firm filed civil rights complaints accusing Dick’s Sporting Goods and Lyft of discriminating against pregnant employees who choose life. The complaints accuse both companies of violating the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act by providing abortion travel reimbursements to pregnant employees but not offering similar benefits to employees who choose to parent.
“Subsidizing travel for an abortion, while denying an equivalent benefit to a mother welcoming a new baby, is perverse and unlawful,” America First Legal senior counselor Reed D. Rubinstein said in a July statement. “Dick’s management is an avatar for the rot and danger of corporate wokeness.”
Separately, in September, the entertainment outlet Hulu was exposed cutting maternity and paternity leave while creating a new abortion travel benefit. Hulu is a subsidiary of Disney, which also pays for employees to travel to abort their unborn babies.
Major entertainment companies like Warner Brothers and Netflix and tech giants like Google, Apple and Microsoft also offer their employees money to travel to abort their unborn babies. The grocery store chains Giant Eagle and Kroger pay employees’ travel costs for abortions, too.
Earlier this summer, a legal expert predicted that these companies may face lawsuits in an interview with Reuters. According to the report:
It is likely only a matter of time before companies face lawsuits from states or anti-abortion campaigners claiming that abortion-related payments violate state bans on facilitating or aiding and abetting abortions, according to Robin Fretwell Wilson, a law professor at the University of Illinois and expert on healthcare law.
“If you can sue me as a person for carrying your daughter across state lines, you can sue Amazon for paying for it,” Wilson said.
Most companies couched their pro-abortion stance in terms of “health care,” claiming women need abortions to be healthy and free, but these companies are encouraging the elective, unnecessary killing of unborn babies in abortions.