Tech Firms Vouch To Support Employees Over US Abortion Ruling
San Francisco: With the US Supreme Court overturning its 50-year-old landmark Roe v. Wade decision which granted women a constitutional right to abortion, tech companies have told employees that they can apply for “relocation without justification” and the firms will do everything to support employees and their dependents.
Google’s chief people officer Fiona Cicconi sent an email to employees, saying that Googlers can “apply for relocation without justification” and that people in charge of the relocation process “will be aware of the situation” in assessing their requests.
“If you need additional support, please connect 1:1 with a People Consultant. We will be arranging support sessions for Googlers in the US in the coming days. These will be posted to Googler News,” the letter read.
Microsoft told TechCrunch that it will “do everything (it) can under the law” to support its employees and their dependents in accessing healthcare regardless of where they live across the US.
Microsoft will continue to pay travel expense assistance for “lawful medical services” where access to care is “limited in availability in an employee’s home geographic region”.
Airbnb said that its “US healthcare coverage supports reproductive rights, and we have taken steps to ensure that our employees have the resources they need to make choices about their reproductive care”.
Ride-hailing platform Lyft also expanded its funds to cover drivers in other states.
“We believe access to healthcare is essential and transportation should never be a barrier to that access. This decision will hurt millions of women by taking away access to safe and private reproductive healthcare services,” a Lyft spokesperson was quoted as saying.
An Uber spokesperson said that the company “reiterated to employees that Uber’s insurance plans in the US already cover a range of reproductive health benefits, including pregnancy termination and travel expenses to access healthcare”.
“We will also continue to stand behind drivers, reimbursing legal expenses if any driver is sued under state law for providing transportation on our platform to a clinic,” the company said.
Twitter has, however declined to comment.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday, abortion rights will now be determined individually by the 50 states.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have state laws protecting abortion and will remain unaffected by the Supreme Court order.
About 17 states do not have any explicit laws either upholding abortion rights or prohibiting abortion, according to one study and nearly half of all 50 states are expected to make abortion difficult or impossible.