With the Supreme Court having overturned Roe v. Wade after five decades, corporate America has wasted no time with its response.
From companies in big tech and entertainment to big banks like JPMorgan, many of America’s most prominent organizations are now offering travel reimbursements for employees to seek abortion treatment elsewhere if the procedure is banned in their home state.
Take Amazon for example; LATimes reports that in May, the online shopping and web services behemoth told its staff they’d cover up to $4,000 in travel expenses for medical treatments including abortion. This benefit is now in effect and is available to employees in offices and warehouses alike. JPMorgan Chase is another large-scale employer with abortion offerings for their employees. The company stated that, starting July 1st, 2022, employees will receive travel benefits for abortion procedures if they can’t access treatment within 50 miles of their home.
However, the legality of companies offering travel reimbursements for out-of-state abortion treatments is up for question. According to Meredith Kirshenbaum in HCA Mag, these companies may be taking on a risk with their state legislators: “There’s some risk that states where there are laws in place might try to penalize or punish businesses in other ways.” The article makes an example out of a Texas legislator who’d threatened Citigroup with a bill that would prevent the bank from underwriting municipal bonds within TX, unless they revoked their travel reimbursement policy for staff abortion access.
Still, the private sector seems keen on expressing its standing. Google, for example, has said it would delete records of user visits to abortion clinics and other “sensitive locations” to prevent the data from being used to prosecute women seeking out reproductive care. The tech giant also stated it would update their Fitbit devices for users who track their menstruation cycles on the app, to be able to delete multiple records at once.
Across the country, companies of all shapes and sizes are expressing their stance through new policies. Here are a few other notable responses from U.S. employers:
- Patagonia is offering training and bailouts for employees who peacefully protest for reproductive rights, as well as time to vote, abortion care coverage, travel, lodging, and food for employees in states where abortion is now banned.
- Apple, similarly, to the other tech behemoths, is allowing employees to use company benefits to travel to another state for reproductive services.
- Lululemon is also supporting out-of-state abortions for their employees and has donated $500,000 to the Center for Reproductive Rights in response to the recent overturning.
All-in-all, the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade has led corporate America to further align with the social causes close to employees’ hearts. The Great Resignation caused a nearly 10% increase in companies offering student loan repayment when compared to pre-pandemic numbers, showing a deeper care for employee livelihoods. Then, employers began offering benefits such as pet insurance in recognition of how important pets are to many employees and their families.
And now, with offerings for travel and even lodging in Snap’s case, Kirshenbaum points out how employers are getting more personable than ever before while considering the risks: “Companies are making a decision and they’re weighing the risk. They’re sending a signal that they’re supportive of social issues their workforce believes in, and employees increasingly want to work for companies that share their values.”
Visit this NTD Business segment on Angela’s YouTube channel to hear her insights into the potential legal implications of companies paying for abortion costs. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram @iamangelareddockwright.com, LinkedIn at angelareddock-wright, and tune-in to her radio show KBLA Talk 1580’s Legal Lens with Angela Reddock-Wright each Saturday and Sunday at 11am PST, or catch past episodes on Anchor.fm/Spotify. For media inquiries for Angela, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Experienced Employment Law Attorney, Mediator, Arbitrator, Investigator, Legal and Media Commentator
Twice-named a U.S. News Best Lawyer in America for employment and labor law, Angela Reddock-Wright is an employment and labor law attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and certified workplace and Title IX investigator (AWI-CH) in Los Angeles, CA. Known as the “Workplace Guru,” Angela is an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues. Furthermore, she’s been named a “Top 50 Woman Attorney” in California by Super Lawyers, a “Top California Employment Lawyer” by the Daily Journal and one of Los Angeles’ “Most Influential Minority and Women Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Angela is a regular legal and media commentator and analyst and has appeared on such media outlets as Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Law and Crime with Brian Ross, Court TV, CNN, NewsNation, ABC News, CBS News, Fox 11 News, KTLA-5, the Black News Channel, Fox Soul – The Black Report, NPR, KPCC, Airtalk-89.3, KJLH Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Forbes.com, Yahoo! Entertainment, People Magazine, Essence Magazine, the Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Focus, Daily Journal, Our Weekly and the Wave Newspapers.
Angela is a member of the panel of distinguished mediators and arbitrators with Judicate West, a California dispute resolution company. She also owns her own dispute resolution law firm, the Reddock Law Group of Los Angeles, specializing in the mediation, arbitration, and investigation of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other workplace claims, along with Title IX, sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct conduct cases, along with hazing and bullying cases in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, fraternities and sororities; fire, police and other public safety agencies and departments; and other private and public sector workplaces.
Reddock-Wright has also launched her own radio show, Legal Lens with Angela Reddock-Wright, airing on Tavis Smiley’s new KBLA Talk 1580 radio station on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. PT with replays on subsequent Sundays. Listeners may tune-in by downloading the APP @kbla1580 and call the PowerLines at 1-800-920-1580. You can listen to past episodes on Anchor.Fm/Spotify.
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This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.