Google has said it will allow its workers in the United States to move to another state without justification after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade’s removal of the constitutional right to abortion.
But other companies that plan to help their workers travel on state lines to face termination could face the wrath of lawmakers who are threatening to bring legislation or at least block such support proposals.
Fiona Ciconi, the company’s head of human resources, said the company’s benefit plans and health insurance would cover “out-of-state medical procedures that are not available for employees living and working.”
He also noted that workers could “apply for relocation without justification, and that those who oversee the process should be aware of the situation.”
‘This is a profound change for the country that has profoundly affected many of us, especially women. Please pay attention to what your coworkers may be feeling and treat each other with respect as always, ‘wrote Sikoni.
Google has said it will allow its employees in the United States to move to another state without justification after overturning a row.
A large portion of the company’s workforce is located in California, where abortion rights are protected. Susan Wozniacki, CEO of Google-owned YouTube, tweeted on Friday
Google has 29 office locations across the country, including Florida, Georgia, Texas and Wisconsin – four states where abortion is currently illegal or where abortion bans or prohibition laws may come in the near future.
A large portion of the company’s workforce is located in California, where abortion rights are protected.
“As CEO, I understand that there is a spectrum of ideas in Scott’s decision today. As a woman, this is a devastating trauma. I personally believe that every woman should make a choice about how and when to become a mother. Reproductive rights are human rights, ‘tweeted Susan Wojciech, CEO of Google-owned YouTube.
About half of US states are expected to revoke abortion rights.
The abortion bans, which were already in the books in 13 states, came into effect as a result of Friday’s rule, and at least a dozen other Republican-led states are expected to ban abortions within the next 30 days.
Many companies have publicly pledged to promote women’s equality and advancement in the workplace
The court’s decision, driven by its conservative majority, upheld Mississippi law that prohibits abortion after 15 weeks. Meanwhile, some democratically-led states are working to increase access to abortion.
Other media and tech companies, including Meta, Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Disney, Comcast, Warner Bros. Discovery, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase and Condडे Nast, have said they will pay their employees if they have to travel abroad. Home state to access reproductive health services.
Companies including health insurance companies Cigna, PayPal, Alaska Airlines and Dix Sporting Goods also announced reimbursement policies on Friday.
But dozens of big businesses like McDonald’s, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Tyson and Marriott have made no such announcement.
Arkansas-based Walmart – the nation’s largest employer with a good portion of its stores in the states that will ban abortions immediately after Friday’s Supreme Court ruling – also sat quietly.
However, such The new policies could expose businesses to litigation and potential criminal liability, legal experts said.
Google is allowing employees to relocate to states with abortion rights
This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that reverses Rowe v. Wade.
This is a profound change for the country that has a profound effect on many of us, especially women. Everyone will respond in their own way, whether the process requires space and time, speaking, volunteering outside of work, no one wants to discuss it, or anything else at all. Please pay attention to what your coworkers may be feeling and, as always, treat each other with respect.
Equity is extraordinarily important to us as a company, and we share concerns about the impact this decision will have on people’s health, lives and careers. We will continue to work to make reproductive health care information accessible in our products and to protect user privacy.
To support Googlers and their dependents, our US benefits plan and health insurance cover out-of-state medical procedures that are not available to employees living and working. Googlers can also apply for a transfer without justification, and those who oversee the process will be aware of the situation. If you need additional assistance, please connect with a 1: 1 person advisor [link to internal tool redacted].
We will be organizing support sessions for Googlers in the US in the coming days. These will be posted in Googler News.
Please do not hesitate to rely on your Google community in the coming days and continue to take good care of yourself and each other.
Google, Chief Public Officer
Companies will have to navigate that patchwork of state laws and adopt policies that support abortion workers, which is likely to attract the wrath of anti-abortion groups and Republican-led states.
The proposal to cover travel expenses could also target companies for anti-abortion lawmakers.
Texas lawmakers have already threatened Citigroup and Lift to announce travel reimbursement policies with legal consequences.
Texas State Representative Briscoe Kane, a Republican, sent a closed-door letter to Citigroup, saying he would propose legislation banning locals in the state from doing business with any company that provides travel benefits for employees seeking abortion.
In a letter to Logan’s chief executive, Logan Green, last month, a group of Republican lawmakers said Texas would “take swift and decisive action” if the vehicle-healing company implements the policy.
The legislators also introduced a series of abortion-related proposals, which would ban companies from doing business in Texas if they pay residents of the state to obtain abortions elsewhere.
Texas lawmakers have threatened Citigroup and Lift that they will enforce laws to stop companies from helping their employees out of state.
According to Robin Fretwell Wilson, a law professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, it is only a matter of time before abortion payments violate state restrictions on abortion payments to facilitate or support abortion. And specialize in healthcare law.
“If you can sue me as a person to take your daughter to the state line, you can sue Amazon to pay,” Wilson said.
For many large companies that fund their own health plans, federal law regulating employee benefits provides significant cover on civil issues in their compensation policies, many lawyers and other legal experts said.
The Employees Retirement Income Protection Act 1974 (ERISA) prohibits states from adopting requirements ‘related’ to employer-sponsored health plans. Courts have been interpreting the language of state laws for decades to determine what health plans can and cannot cover.
ERISA regulates benefit plans that are directly funded by employers, called self-insurance plans. In 2021, 64% of American workers with employer-sponsored health insurance were covered by self-insurance plans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Any company suing for abortion travel reimbursement would cite ERISA as a defense, according to Katie Johnson, senior adviser on health policy at the American Benefits Council, a business group. And that would be a strong argument, she said, especially for businesses with general reimbursement policies for essential medical travel rather than abortionists.
Johnson said compensation for other types of medical-related trips, such as visits to hospitals designated as ‘centers of excellence’ are already common although abortion-related policies are still relatively rare.
“It may seem new, it’s not common sense and the law has already told us how to handle it,” Johnson said.
There is a limit to logic. Fully-insured health plans, in which employers purchase coverage through professional insurers, cover about one-third of workers and are regulated by state law and not by ERISA.
Most small and medium-sized U.S. businesses have fully insurance plans and cannot argue that ERISA prevents states from limiting abortion coverage.
And, ERISA cannot prevent states from enforcing criminal laws, as in many states that make it a crime to aid abortion, so employers who adopt reimbursement policies are vulnerable to criminal charges from state and local prosecutors.
But most criminal abortion laws have not been enacted in decades, and since the Roko decision, it is unclear whether authorities will try to prosecute companies, according to Chicago-based lawyer Danita Merlau, who advises companies on benefit issues.