The leaked Supreme Court majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade would be a seismic shift in access to reproductive health care in the United States. The consequences for those who need to terminate a pregnancy for any number of reasons – including the preservation of their own health, the inability to financially support a child or in the aftermath of sexual abuse – would be massive.
At RALIANCE we believe access to abortion is a matter of building an equitable society where people can make decisions about what is best for their bodies. We also believe that it’s imperative for employers to be aware of how social issues impact their employees and workplaces and for them to take proactive steps toward building cultures that are safe, equitable, and respectful.
Though many companies have not spoken publicly about their views and policies on reproductive care, others have made clear that they will support a person’s right to choose to terminate a pregnancy.
Here are five companies speaking out and taking action:
1. Amalgamated Bank: “Starting immediately,” the company wrote in a press release, “Amalgamated Bank will cover travel expenses for employees and their dependents who need to travel out of state to access reproductive health care.” The new benefit includes hotel fees and five days of childcare for the children who may have to stay behind while the parent seeks care. The company added that offering this resource to their employees was important because “abortion restrictions fall heaviest on people who are BIPOC, those with disabilities, people in rural areas, young people, immigrants, and people with low incomes.”
2. Citigroup Inc.: At the end of April, Citigroup shared with their stockholders that “in response to changes in reproductive [health care] laws in certain states in the U.S., beginning in 2022 we provide travel benefits to facilitate access to adequate resources.”
3. Levi Strauss & Co.: The apparel company announced to all staff that they would reimburse health care expenses not available in that employee’s state of residence. “As the pandemic has shown so clearly, public health issues are workplace issues,” they wrote in a public statement. They also argued that overturning Roe v. Wade would lead to more inequity and have a disproportionately negative impact on women of color.
4. Lyft – In September, when Oklahoma passed SB1503 and Texas passed SB8 permitting citizens to directly sue anyone who receives or aids in the execution of an abortion, Lyft pledged to protect their drivers by paying all legal fees if they are sued under this law. They’re also building out a “safe state” program to cover all transportation costs for customers seeking abortions. In April, it expanded that pledge to any of their own employees who need to travel more than 100 miles to reach an in-network provider.
5. United Talent Agency – The global talent agency representing the likes of Queen Latifah, Priyanka Chopra, Adam Scott, Eugene Levy, and MJ Rodriguez made a definitive statement the day after the draft ruling was leaked. CEO Jeremy Zimmer told Deadline, “UTA will reimburse our colleagues for travel expenses related to receiving women’s reproductive health services that are not accessible in their state of residence.”
These are not the only companies taking action – Tesla, Microsoft and Amazon are also among those announcing plans to cover travel costs for reproductive care. While state governments move to protect or ban abortion, many companies are stepping in to support their employees’ safety and autonomy, demonstrating leadership in a time of great uncertainty and signaling to current and future employees that they offer an inclusive and equitable culture.
RALIANCE will be closely watching this developing news as the Supreme Court nears a final decision on this case.
RALIANCE is a trusted adviser for organizations committed to building cultures that are safe, equitable, and respectful. RALIANCE offers unparalleled expertise in serving survivors of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse which drives our mission to help organizations across sectors create inclusive environments for all. For more information, please visit www.RALIANCE.org.