When Where You Work Determines if You Can Get an Abortion
“In low-wage industries, this is going to be one of those issues where people leave low-paying jobs for slightly better-paying ones,” said Bianca Agustin, director of corporate accountability for United for Respect, a nonprofit that works for labor. † “Given the proliferation of companies that have public commitments, I imagine there will be some movement in this.”
Walmart, Darden Restaurants, McDonald’s, Home Depot, Hilton, Dollar General and FedEx, which together employ millions of people across the country, have not said whether they will reimburse travel for out-of-state abortions. A spokeswoman for Walmart, which has 1.7 million U.S. employees, said the company regularly reviews benefits based on employee demand, and the company is now “looking at the evolving federal and state landscape” as it considers its offerings. The rest of the companies mentioned did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
“We are working diligently and diligently to find the best way forward, guided by our desire to support our employees, all of our employees,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon wrote in a memo to staff on Friday.
Amazon, the country’s second-largest private employer after Walmart, said it would reimburse out-of-state abortion trips for its employees, most of whom work by the hour. But that benefit applies to care plan employees, not the contractors who make up a significant portion of the workforce, such as the vast network of delivery drivers.
As the list of companies handling abortion-related travel grows longer, some employees are wondering why their employers won’t do the same. Isabela Burrows, 19, who works at a PetSmart in Howell, Michigan, learned that Roe v. Wade had been turned down by a client last week and became frustrated that her company hadn’t said anything. Michigan has an abortion ban that has been blocked in court and that Democratic leaders have said they will not enforce.