America First Legal (AFL) announced on Thursday that it asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to launch a Civil Rights investigation into Lyft’s abortion and diversity policies “to combat discrimination against women who bear children.”
AFL asked the EEOC to investigate the transportation company’s policy of giving employees coverage for elective abortions and conditional reimbursement for travel costs, while not providing equivalent compensation to a pregnant woman who carries her child to term. AFL, which describes itself as a public charity that is “turning the legal tables on the radical activist left,” told the EEOC it believes Lyft’s policy violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.
“The Company’s decision to provide ‘coverage for an elective abortion and reimbursement for travel costs’—which is properly classified both as compensation and/or as a privilege of employment—to a pregnant woman who chooses to abort her child, while denying any equivalent compensation or benefit to a pregnant woman who chooses life, facially violates the statute,” AFL wrote.
Lyft announced on April 29, 2022, “employees enrolled in our U.S. medical benefits, which include coverage for elective abortion, we’ll cover the travel costs if these laws require travel outside of Texas and Oklahoma to [abort a pregnancy].” After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, the company announced a special employee benefit including “reimbursement for travel costs if an employee must travel more than 100 miles for an in-network provider.”
AFL also told the EEOC that the company’s employment practices are unlawfully based on a worker’s immutable characteristics.
“Among other things, the Company repeatedly admits to limiting, segregating, or classifying employees or applicants for employment in ways that would deprive, or tend to deprive, individuals of employment and promotion opportunities because of their race, color, sex, or national origin,” AFL wrote.
AFL President Stephen Miller, who served as top aide to former President Donald Trump, called Lyft’s actions “lawless bigotry.”
“America First Legal launched the Center for Legal Equality to combat corporate racism, bigotry and systemic ‘woke’ misconduct. Lyft has engaged in egregious violations of federal civil rights law, discriminating against both pregnant mothers and Americans who do not satisfy Lyft’s racial preferences,” Miller said in a statement. “This race-based and pregnancy-based discrimination is flatly, manifestly illegal — and thus we are today filing this federal civil rights complaint. We will not tolerate lawless bigotry.”
AFL also sent a letter to Logan Green, chief executive officer and director of Lyft, telling him to preserve all records “in anticipation of litigation,” and to stop “all contracting and employment practices that discriminate based on race, color, sex, or national origin…” The group additionally told Green to retain an independent counsel for a full investigation of and a report on the company’s decision to offer the “travel benefit” to employees seeking elective abortions while denying “equivalent compensation to a pregnant woman who chooses life.”
Lyft did not respond to request for comment by the time of publication.