As a job seeker, it can be difficult to get a grasp on whether or not a company reflects your values. And as a woman on the job hunt, it can be particularly hard to find corporations that are supportive when it comes to healthcare.
Women, or people with uteruses in general, should learn how to best pinpoint the companies that would provide support when it comes to things like maternity leave, in-vitro fertilization (IVF), egg-freezing, surrogacy, and abortion (including potential out-of-state travel expenses and post-procedure counseling). This is especially true as the United States currently grapples with the drastic Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade this past June.
“A woman has her own rights, and should rightfully be able to do whatever she wants with her body,” said Erika Colón, longtime recruiting professional and founder of Up Talent LLC. “Companies should really be reflecting that value in their healthcare offerings.”
Do your company research
Countless U.S-based companies have spoken out against the overturning of Roe v. Wade in recent months, and as the country prepares for the changes the decision has brought and will continue to bring, many have added new abortion-related policies in support of those seeking reproductive care. Some companies even implemented these policies several months ago, when there was first talk of striking down Roe v. Wade. Women and people with uteruses should conduct online research to see if the corporations they are looking to work at offer benefits for abortions. For example, Amazon recently added a benefit that would cover up to $4,000 in expenses for traveling out of state (whether for reproductive rights or other issues).
Apple is another company on the list; last fall, CEO Tim Cook announced that the company’s medical insurance plan would cover all costs of abortion treatments for Texas retail employees, who at the time were reeling from the state’s “heartbeat act” which banned abortions after six weeks. Comcast, Citigroup, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Disney, and others have similarly publicly pledged to cover travel for abortion procedures.
“Women’s access to health care is certainly very important right now,” said Colón. “There definitely are more companies today that will pay, for example, for you to go out of state for an abortion. Typically, companies do not send over health insurance information until after offering a job, but I think they should instead give that package upfront. That way, someone can make their decision to accept the offer with that information in mind.”
Job seekers looking for workplaces that offer other fertility benefits, like IVF, egg freezing, or surrogacy, can also utilize the internet. Female-focused platforms like InHerSight work to help women match with companies that share their values and post guides to finding the right places to work at. Recently, one guide listed 57 companies that offer great fertility benefits; among them were American Express, Bank of America, Bumble, Chanel, DoorDash, Facebook, and Johnson & Johnson.
To give some context, American Express offers up to $35,000 for adoption and surrogacy; Bank of America offers unlimited IVF coverage after an infertility diagnosis; Bumble provides discounts for IVF, artificial insemination, and egg freezing; Chanel offers unlimited access to IVF; DoorDash reimburses up to $20,000 annually for infertility claims and egg freezing; Facebook offers $100,000 for four cycles of IVF and preimplantation genetic screening, as well as $20,000 for surrogacy benefits; and Johnson & Johnson offers $35,000 for fertility treatments and $20,000 for adoption and surrogacy reimbursements.
Relatedly, The New York Times recently published a full list of companies that cover travel expenses for employee abortions. “A lot of the bigger companies seem to be offering wider access to reproductive care today,” said Colón, adding that smaller ones would be well suited to do the same.
Examine state laws
Women who are looking for jobs across different states should also be sure to thoroughly assess state laws surrounding reproductive healthcare. Using tools like this tracker actively updated by The New York Times, people can check and see which states have bans (or are expected to), and which states where abortion bans were blocked. Plus, more details are offered like whether the bans have any exceptions (for instance, in Mississippi, the procedure is banned with exceptions for rape—but not incest). Before applying to a job in another state, women should check on this to make sure they would be relocating somewhere that supports reproductive rights.
Ask questions and encourage progress
While ample information abounds online, there are other ways to make sure a potential future place of work embraces reproductive healthcare. Asking questions is necessary. Upon being offered a job and shown the health insurance plan, one should comb the document for the women’s healthcare services offered. If this aspect seems unclear or unavailable, one should ask a Human Resources representative or hiring manager to clarify, posing questions even if it feels uncomfortable to do so.
If a job seeker learns that the company they wish to work for does not have great reproductive healthcare benefits, they could consider encouraging company leaders they may be in touch with to implement them. After all, as the denim maker, Levi Strauss & Co., said in a recent statement: “Business leaders are responsible for protecting the health and well-being of our employees, and that includes protecting reproductive rights and abortion access.”
Indeed, it is up to company leaders to take the reins in implementing progressive policies that support women’s healthcare. At a time when Americans’ reproductive rights are severely threatened, CEOs, presidents, founders, and other leading figures must put in true work to offer their employees optimal reproductive health services. As Levi’s statement continued: “Access to reproductive health care, including abortion, has been a critical factor to the workplace gains and contributions women have made over the past 50 years.” Companies across America would do well to support women’s health and encourage others to do the same.
“I have told clients in the past that if they want a candidate, it’s not just about money,” said Colón. “It’s about health—mental health included. What is your company going to offer them from a health standpoint? Do you really care about your employees?”
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