CV NEWS FEED // Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris ended debate on the nomination of Kalpana Kotagal to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOCC). Kotagal, an attorney, is known for representing radical LGBT and pro-abortion interest groups.
“Kotagal made her name as a champion of radical transgender ideology,” said CatholicVote Director of Government Affairs Tom McClusky.
Based on her record, she will undoubtedly use her new post to attack religious exemptions, especially when it comes to employers’ conscience protections regarding abortion and so-called “gender-affirming care.”
According to Tyler O’Neill of the Daily Signal:
Kotagal specializes in employment law and “diversity, equity, and inclusion”…
In 2021, Kotagal [successfully] represented the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund in suing Aetna to force the company to cover “breast augmentation” surgeries for biological males who identify as female…
Critics say the new member will further radicalize the EOCC, which was originally created to enforce federal anti-discrimination laws in the workplace. O’Neil noted that Kotagal will “likely further the commission’s already substantial advocacy for transgender ideology, pushing it toward mandating the ideology on U.S. employers.”
The Heritage Foundation’s Kevin Roberts tweeted that Kotagal’s “appointment would turn the EEOC into an even more radical Commission with devastating effects on our businesses and communities.”
Kotagal has been endorsed by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), which has advocated aggressively against religious protection laws in the past.
Of specific concern are the EOCC’s forthcoming regulations on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which went into effect in June and was strongly endorsed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The bill delegates all responsibility for its enforcement to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The NWLC has already solicited women to “brainstorm what kinds of accommodations you might ask for,” including abortion recovery time off, under the new legislation. It also stated in a June 2023 memo that “an employer might be required to modify an employee’s schedule to allow time to attend a doctor’s appointment related to pregnancy or childbirth — for example, to address postpartum depression or to have an abortion.”
With the new regulations expected in the days to come, CatholicVote will call on pro-life Catholics and their allies to submit public comments urging the EOCC to add clear language that excludes abortions and offers robust conscience-rights protections.
“Otherwise,” McClusky added, “the support that PWFA offers for pregnant women could sentence Catholic and other religious organizations to years of litigation.”