How companies are responding to the end of Roe v. Wade

After the Supreme Court ruled Roe vs. Wade on Friday, many companies responded with vows of support for employees who may soon find themselves affected by a terrifying decision that will block access to abortion in many Americans.

Abortion will remain legal in California. But some big companies, including Tesla and Oracle, have recently left and moved to states like Texas, where abortion will soon become illegal.

Company executives in a variety of industries – including banking, technology and entertainment – have vowed to do what they can to help their employees keep checking in.

Some companies offer $10,000 to help cover travel and other expenses if employees find they have to leave their state.

“Business leaders must step up their support for the health and safety of their employees by speaking out against the wave of abortion bans that will erupt as a result of this decision and calling on Congress to make Roe law, ” Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement Friday.

Many companies have scheduled the court’s tentative decision after information about the decision was leaked this spring.

Most employer health insurance plans cover the cost of abortions, but the companies say they’re now looking to do more to help workers living in states where the government is not working. This practice will soon be banned.

Here’s what some of the companies have to offer:

Amazon, one of the nation’s largest private-sector employers, told its employees in May it would cover up to $4,000 in travel costs for medical treatments including abortions, according to a report. Reuters. Amazon’s benefits are in effect and apply to employees in corporate offices and warehouse jobs.

As of December, Amazon employed 25,000 people in Kentucky and 7,000 in Louisiana, two states with immediate bans on most abortions. It has 95,000 people in Texas and 12,000 in Oklahoma, where abortion is already functionally illegal and will be officially outlawed through activation legislation next month. The company added 59,500 employees in states where abortion is prohibited.

JPMorgan ChaseOne of the largest banks in the country, said that starting July 1, employees will be eligible for travel benefits for abortions if they can’t get to a place within 50 miles of their home.

This benefit was announced in a memo sent to employees on June 1 and is part of an overall expansion of healthcare travel benefits, which were previously available only to certain services. services such as organ transplants.

A spokesperson for the bank said in an emailed statement after the Supreme Court’s decision was announced: “We are focused on the health and well-being of our employees and want to ensure equitable access to with all benefits.

Teslathe company moved its headquarters from California to Texas last year, apparently advocating health insurance and travel reimbursement for employees seeking to end their pregnancies – although its language is unclear. .

The company added a line to its Annual Impact Report for 2021 describing “a Safety Net program that expands and provides health coverage including travel and accommodation assistance to people with disabilities.” may need to seek out health care services that are not available in their home.” The company could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Walt Disney Co. told employees on Friday that the company remained “committed to providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care to all of our employees, members and their families.” them, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live.”

Employees who are unable to access care at one location will be covered to receive similar levels of care at another location, a Disney spokesperson said. Travel benefits include family planning, including “pregnancy decisions.”

The entertainment company this year drew the ire of conservative lawmakers when its chief executive spoke out against a Florida bill called the Parental Rights in Education law, often cited by lawmakers. Critics call the law “Do not say gay”.

Snap, the social media company in Santa Monica, said it will provide grants of up to $10,000 for travel and accommodation to employees and their insured family members who need to travel. for medical treatment, including abortion, which is prohibited in their state. residence. “Our goal is to ensure that all members of the Snap team have access to the medical care they need and when they need it,” the company said.

Meta — the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other tech assets — said it intends to “repay travel expenses, to the extent permitted by law, to employees who need them to access services.” out-of-state reproductive and health care services. “

A spokesperson for Meta said: “We are in the process of assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved.

In May, Meta reported that it had banned employees from talking about abortion on its internal company channels to avoid creating a “hostile work environment”.

YelpThe review aggregator, said that although abortion health care was covered under the health insurance plan, the San Francisco company had begun helping employees and their dependents “go out out of state to access these health care services” in May.

Citigroup Inc. announced in March that it would cover out-of-state travel expenses for abortions amid an uproar over Texas law restricting access to abortion.

“While we are still assessing the impact of the Supreme Court decision and are aware that some states may enact new reproductive rights laws, we will continue to provide Help support colleagues’ family planning options wherever we are authorized to do so. “Sara Wechter, head of human resources at Citi, wrote in a memo to employees on Friday.

Goldman Sachs, The investment bank, said in response to the decision that it extended healthcare travel reimbursement benefits to all medical procedures, including abortion services and definite care gender when “there are no providers near where our people live,” according to an excerpt from a memo obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

“The health and well-being of everyone and their families is our top priority,” the memo sent to employees Friday states.

Douglas Ellimanreal estate company, said it plans to expand out-of-state health care coverage to employees potentially directly affected by the ruling and will reimburse agents and employees. Members may be forced to travel out of state for reproductive health care.

EBaythe e-commerce company, said in an email effective this month it has expanded its benefits package to reimburse employees while traveling within the country “for access to treatment if not available at local” and cannot be handled by telehealth.

Discordinternet chat platform, said in an email that the company “will provide up to $5,000 annually for each full-time employee and their dependents visiting outside of their local area.” “.

Rakuten, the online shopping company, released a statement last month, announcing an expansion of employee benefits to ensure continued access to “abortion as an elective procedure, regardless of where they live.” where.” A spokesperson said in an email that Rakuten operates large offices “in several states that will be immediately or imminently impacted by today’s ruling, including Utah, Florida and Wisconsin.”

Compassreal estate company, said Friday that “effectively today” it is expanding its health care coverage “to offer U.S. employees and their dependents a benefits to reimburse medical travel for out-of-state reproductive care for people in areas where such care is not available. “

Dell Technology, a computer maker in Texas, where abortion will soon be banned, on Friday said the health and well-being of its employees remained a top priority. “We continue to work with our health plan administrators to ensure the health insurance we offer provides access to all types of covered care, right away. even when suppliers are not at a team member’s home,” the company said in a statement.

Pinterest, the San Francisco social media company, said it has reimbursed employees and their dependents for travel expenses for some care including organ transplants. “We have now expanded our medical travel benefits in the United States to include abortion care,” said LeMia Jenkins Thompson, corporate communications director.

Times staff writers Brian Contreras, Laurence Darmiento, Sam Dean, Hugo Martin, Russ Mitchell and Jack Flemming contributed to this report.

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-06-24/companies-vow-to-help-employees-access-abortion-after-roe-v-wade-is-overturned How companies are responding to the end of Roe v. Wade

Edmund DeMarche

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