Abortion-rights activists will be seen outside the United States Supreme Court in Washington, DC on June 15, 2022.
Mandelungan | AFP | Getty Images
The challenges posed by the end of the Roe v. Wade case are still in their infancy for the United States of America.
To Overturn the precedent for abortion On Friday, the US Supreme Court created a series of new challenges for businesses that had to navigate between states that allowed the procedure and other states that outlawed it.
One of these issues for businesses is deciding whether and how to provide abortion access to millions of employees in states where the procedure is no longer legal.
Maurice Schweitzer, a professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, said: “The question will be what will be covered? If you are working in a state that prohibits abortion, will travel for out-of-state abortion be covered?”
Some of the country’s large employers, including Apple, CVS healthWhen DisneyThe company has repeatedly covered trips to states that allow abortion. others, Dick’s sporting goodsHurry to renew their medical benefits. Several Prominent business leaders went one step further and condemned the end of 50 years of abortion rights.
Still many others declined to comment or said they were still considering plans.
The Supreme Court’s rulings affect the world of the enterprise, far beyond the health benefits of employers, where enterprises set up headquarters and offices, where lawmakers and political action committees donate, and employees. It affects the way we communicate with our employees, customers and investors.
Over the years, certain companies have opted to tackle polarization issues, such as the Black Lives Matter movement after the killing of black George Floyd by police officers and the HB 1557 Act in Florida. .. “Gay” bill.
A Supreme Court ruling can force a company’s hand and make it difficult for business leaders to stay silent. Schweizer said.. He said these decisions could allow businesses to risk proceedings, rebel against politicians, and provoke backlash from customers and employees.
“This will be an additional challenge for executives,” he said.
For companies that have decided to cover abortion care in other states, it will raise new questions, including how to reimburse travel expenses and how to protect employee privacy.
JPMorgan Chase To employees with memos Expand medical benefits to include travel insurance From July. Under armor It said it would add travel benefits to the medical plan. Dick CEO Lauren Hobart, Share on LinkedIn Employees, their spouses, and their dependents will be reimbursed for travel expenses of up to $ 4,000 if they live in areas with restricted access.
Warner Bros. Discovery Employees were also contacted after the decision was announced on Friday.
“We recognize that the problem of abortion can cause different emotions and reactions for each of us, based on our experience and beliefs,” said Adria Alpert, Chief People and Culture Officer. Rom writes in a memo to employees. Obtained by CNBC.. “We are here to support you.”
According to Romm, the company is expanding its medical benefits to include the costs of employees and their families who need to travel to access various medical procedures such as abortion, family planning and assisted reproductive technology. That is.
Amazon Other companies added travel refunds earlier this year as the Sunbelt state government passed legislation to close abortion clinics and otherwise restrict access.
However, how companies react over time varies, including paid leave that can be used to remove from health insurance coverage for abortion or travel-related expenses to receive care in another state. You can also provide indirect support, such as donations to your medical savings account.
According to a survey of more than 1,000 human resources experts from the Human Resources Management Association, nearly 30% of organizations say they will increase their support within the Employee Assistance Program for Reproductive Medicine in the Postrow world. The survey was conducted from May 24th to June 7th.
About one-third cited paid leave as a top resource provided to support reproductive care, and 14% said they would include the topic of reproductive rights in their diversity, equity and inclusive programs. increase.
Almost a quarter of organizations say that providing medical savings accounts to cover trips for assisted reproductive technology in other states will improve their ability to compete for talent.
Even before the Supreme Court’s ruling, companies were under pressure to step into the abortion debate — or at least clarified how restrictions and bans on abortion would affect their business.
Companies have long used their economic power to influence political policy. Hollywood when Georgia Parliamentarians tried to ban almost all abortions in 2019 Take advantage of the threat of production boycotts In the state to clarify opinions about politics.
Still, because of the pandemic, the studio It is slow to react to new laws that traditionally they may have opposed. Production shutdowns are no longer the luxury Hollywood can offer, especially as they aim to keep up with the demand for new content...
Disney is breaking away from the recent battle over the cultural issues of hot buttons.The The company publicly opposed Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill comes after employees have asked the company to take action.Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Florida Republican-led Parliament Cancel the company’s special district In the state where Walt Disney World and other resorts are based, he said it was not retaliatory.
Notes to employees on Friday“We continue to work to remove barriers and provide all employees with comprehensive access to quality, affordable care,” Disney said. Disney already has existing travel benefits that allow employees who do not have access to care at their current location to look for medical care for family planning, including cancer treatment, transplantation, rare disease treatment, and pregnancy-related decisions. I have.
When an individual state decides whether to maintain or block the right to abortion, the legislature may face backlash from businesses and influential business leaders. This may include notification of decisions regarding the location of a boycott, loss of political contributions, headquarters, distribution centers, or new facilities.
“Overturning the Roe v. Wade case is a devastating decision by the US Supreme Court,” billionaire and businessman Richard Branson wrote in a statement. “This does not reduce abortion, it only puts them at risk. Reproductive rights are human rights. We all have to stand up for choice.”
Branson was one of the companies and business leaders who condemned the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“This ruling threatens women’s health, denies women’s human rights, and threatens to dismantle progress towards gender equality in the workplace since Roe,” said Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy. Stoppelman said. “Business leaders need to step up to support employee health and safety and call on Congress to codify Roe by speaking against the wave of abortion bans that result from this decision. there is.”
Investors in publicly traded companies can have a significant impact on how a response to a new judgment is created.
and Walmart At a shareholders’ meeting earlier this month, investors told the country’s largest private employers about the potential risks and costs of state policies limiting reproductive healthcare, and the company’s plans to mitigate those risks. I asked you to publish the report. Non-binding proposals were opposed by retailers and did not receive the support of the majority of shareholders.
Similar proposals may be made at other companies’ shareholders’ meetings in the near future. Analysts can also investigate executives at future earnings announcements.
Walmart is based in Arkansas. There is already a law on books that triggers bans.. When asked if it would cover travel expenses to a state that allowed abortion, the company refused to comment on Friday. Travel expenses for going to hospitals and medical centers for other types of medical procedures, such as spinal surgery and certain heart surgeries, have already been paid.
Wharton’s Schweizer said employees and customers are increasingly looking to the company and want to join or spend money that reflects their values.
In some cases, the corporate world is leading the way, and companies are on corporate holidays before Juneteenth becomes the federal government.Some companies like Unilever-Owned by Ben & Jerry’s and CEO Levi Strauss & Co.Chipberg became known for speaking.
“There is a growing tendency for executives to become more involved and more involved in social and political issues,” he said. “This will increase the tendency for many executives to speak out, for many to lead the issue, and to normalize the idea that executives are part of the political process.”