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Roe v. Wade ruling to impact world of work

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Employers will need to follow local, state and federal laws and regulations regarding abortion

Emily Dickens, Chief of Staff and Head of Government Affairs at Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has stated that the US Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade will have an effect on the world of work. The organization said it will also provide up-to-date resources for employers without weighing in on whether abortion is right or wrong.

Dickens said employers will need to follow local, state and federal laws and regulations regarding abortion. However, she noted self-insured companies are subject to the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act rather than state law, and that will provide broader flexibility in structuring health benefits.

She continued: “Some companies are announcing preemptive action to ensure workers have access to abortion services by increasing travel benefits to cover healthcare procedures. For example, new SHRM research shows that nearly a quarter of organizations agree that offering a health savings account to cover travel for reproductive care in another state will enhance their ability to compete for talent. But how these policies interact with state laws is unclear, and employers should be aware of the legal risks involved.”

SHRM also reported key findings from its research related to the topic:

  • 35% of organizations would not be more likely to provide travel expense benefits outside of a health savings account for employees to access reproductive services if it was tax deductible.
  • Knowing that employees can use HSA funds for travel-related expenses to receive reproductive care in another state, 87% of organizations still would not make any changes to the contributions they make to employees’ HSAs.
  • Paid time off was named the top resource currently provided to employees to better support reproductive care, cited by 32% of firms.
  • 29% of organizations said they would increase support within an employee assistance program for reproductive care in a post-Roe and Casey world.
  • 14% of organizations said they would include the topic of reproductive rights in their diversity, equity and inclusion programs.


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