Companies now need to take action to protect employee abortion rights. Here’s how – Fast Company

Written by Amanda

Corporate action alone can’t make up for the loss of the constitutional right to seek an abortion, but employers must do all they can to blunt the impact of this historic and devastating policy shift.


A host of companies have started to take such steps. Citigroup recently announced a policy to offer financial support to workers who have to travel to receive reproductive health services. Many other companies, including JPMorgan Chase, Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Levi Strauss, and Mastercard, have announced similar policies to cover travel costs for healthcare needs.

More strongly support employee well-being. Expanding benefits plans and adopting policies that more fully meet the needs of workers who are considering abortion are great first steps, but organizations should be doing much more to support the overall physical, mental, and emotional health of employees whose access to reproductive health services is under threat.

Companies should regularly check in on employees to get a sense of their psychological and emotional well-being, offer opportunities for workers to discuss issues and concerns in safe settings, and provide access to anonymous mental health services. Developing internal and external communications plans to ensure that employees and the public know where the company stands on these issues is also critical to ensuring workers feel safe, accepted, and supported. Organizations should make sure employees are aware of all the benefits covering reproductive healthcare that are available to them and that they understand how to utilize company resources.


Encourage voting and civic engagement. Employers must be prepared to address the concerns of employees, customers, investors, and other stakeholders who are increasingly aware of, and even directly involved in, debates over abortion access in Washington, D.C., and at the state level. As a start, they can ensure that their paid time-off policies accommodate the fundamental right of employees to vote in elections and engage in activities related to the public debate over issues that concern them.

Separately, employers can also assess how states’ policies align with their organizational values and, in cases where they’re in conflict, consider what, if any, adjustments they should make. Companies should also consider aligning their political donations, philanthropic investments, and corporate spending with their stated values, especially those related to access to reproductive healthcare. Engaging in government-relations activities to promote policies and legislation that they support has never been more important.

Overturning Roe v. Wade will immediately have a huge impact on not only half of the members of the U.S. workforce, but also on anyone who depends on them, the organizations that employ them, and the broader economy. Corporate action alone can’t make up for the loss of what has for decades been enshrined as a fundamental constitutional right, but employers must do all they can to blunt the impact of this historic and devastating policy shift.


Cat Ward is managing director of JFFLabs, a unit of the nonprofit Jobs for the Future that designs and scales new approaches to promoting economic advancement. She founded and manages JFF’s Corporate Action Platform and Advisory Services practice. Megha Bansal Rizoli is director of organizational strategy at JFF. She also leads development and implementation of JFF’s Impact Framework to quantify and articulate the organization’s impact in driving equitable economic advancement for all.


Source: fastcompany.com

About the author


Hi there, I am Amanda and I work as an editor at impactinvesting.ai;  if you are interested in my services, please reach me at amanda.impactinvesting.ai