Plus, considerations for retail brands taking a stand against the Supreme Court’s decision.
Last Friday, the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion after 50+ years.
Immediately, US retailers started responding:
- Adidas told Retail Dive they would “continue to cover reproductive resources.” They also said they would pay expenses related to abortion services up to $10k for covered employees.
- Apple reminded everyone that their “comprehensive benefits have allowed our employees to travel out-of-state for medical care if it is unavailable in their home state” for years. They later confirmed that abortion services are part of that covered “medical care.”
- Dick’s Sporting Goods will provide up to $4k in travel expenses for employees, spouses, or dependents enrolled in its medical plans (plus 1 support person) to travel out of state and legally obtain an abortion.
- Gap reiterated its current health benefits (76% of its workforce is women). This includes a “wide range of mental health and family planning benefits including coverage of adoptions, surrogacy, fertility treatments, paid parental leave, contraception, and abortion.”
- Levi’s reiterated its support of reproductive rights, saying it would reimburse travel to cover medical expenses not available within 50 miles of where an employee lives. They are also providing grants to the Center for Reproductive Rights.
- Lululemon said it “will continue to support our employees should they need to leave the state to access treatment related to their reproductive health and family planning.” They also donated $500k to the Center for Reproductive Rights.
- Nike emailed a statement to Retail Dive, reiterating its commitment to cover travel and lodging costs when employees cannot locally obtain an abortion. And they continuously adjust their health benefits offerings as needed to provide employees the care they need.
- Patagonia now pays bail for employees who peacefully protest reproductive justice. Plus, it offers coverage for abortion care (including travel, lodging, and food coverage) in restricted states.
- 330+ retailers signed the Don’t Ban Equality statement, including Away, Everlane, Glossier, Madewell, Mejuri, and Reformation.
“How these policies interact with state laws is unclear, and employers should be aware of the legal risks involved,” Emily M Dickens, chief of staff at SHRM, warned.
Still, many retailers feel it’s their responsibility to implement policies protecting their employee’s reproductive rights in the wake of the ruling.
Not to mention that standing up for these rights could set these brands up for long-term success.
How so? Because 71% of consumers prefer to shop with companies that reflect their values. And 56% of workers won’t even consider a workplace that doesn’t align with their values.
That said, there are ~15.7m retail workers in the US, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Historically, only about half have access to employer-sponsored health care. Meaning, many employees are still unprotected even as brands race to add abortion aid into their benefits programs.