Amazon, Starbucks promise abortion benefits, but they should think twice

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In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health overturning Roe v. Wade, corporations have sought creative ways to provide employees access to abortion. 

A slew of businesses have promised to pay abortion travel benefits to employees who must travel out of state or long distances to receive desired abortion services. These businesses include Amazon, Bank of America, Comcast, Goldman Sachs, Kroger, Starbucks, Yelp, and the list goes on. 

But employers providing such benefits may want to think twice. Their new policies open the door to expensive, time-consuming employment discrimination lawsuits.

Federal employment law includes prohibitions against discrimination based on sex, pregnancy, and religion under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and against discrimination based on disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Under both laws, employers must not discriminate with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. Travel benefits certainly qualify.

DANNENFELSER & KREIFELS: WOKE CORPORATIONS PROMOTE ABORTION

Title VII and its subpart, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, neither require nor preclude an employer from providing abortion benefits. The employer who chooses to provide abortion benefits, however, must do so in a non-discriminatory manner.

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