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The Reality of Employer's Post-Roe Offers To Support Reproductive Rights

Following the Supreme Court's decision to overrule Roe v. Wade, Google, Amazon, Lyft, and DoorDash announced they would support employees who needed to travel out of state for abortion or other reproductive care. WIRED dug deeper into these offers by the companies and published its findings. The companies did not make these offers available to gig workers, temporary workers, and subcontractors, yet these individuals make up a large portion of their respective workforces. According to the New York Times, Google's temps and contractors outnumber its full-time employees.

The Alphabet Workers Union (including workers from Google and its parent company) said the excluded workforce members are "more likely to be living in states with restricted abortion access, more likely to be workers of color and people who can become pregnant, and less likely to have the resources to relocate" because Alphabet underpays them. Amazon, DoorDash, and Lyft confirmed these new benefits do not apply to their drivers (Amazon drivers often work for third-party contractors). Experts interviewed by WIRED suggested these large companies could do more by creating travel funds and pressuring lawmakers to oppose anti-abortion policies. Google announced changes to its privacy policies for users; it will delete abortion clinic visits from its users' location histories.

Bloomberg published an article addressing privacy concerns for these new policies. In all companies, human resources departments must consider privacy concerns where they are providing abortion benefits. While most companies carefully document corporate processes, this documentation could result in negative repercussions for employees in some states. Employers may also have concerns about balancing corporate pledges of support and legal liability. Experts suggest including reproductive care within broader programs, with abortion-related travel just one of many benefits offered. Recent reported data suggests that supporting these programs is critical to attracting and retaining talent.