Starbucks will pay expenses for employees forced to travel for abortion or gender affirmation treatments

Employees living more than 100 miles from the nearest healthcare facility offering the service they need can have their travel expenses covered

Graig Graziosi
Monday 16 May 2022 17:13
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Related video: US treasury secretary warns abortion restrictions will damage economy

Starbucks announced it will pay for employee travel expenses in the US if they are forced to leave the state in order to receive abortion or gender-confirmation treatments.

According to the Seattle Times, the company made the announcement on Monday, saying employees are eligible is the services are not available within 100 miles of a worker’s home.

The travel benefit will also reportedly be offered to dependents of employees who use Starbucks’ healthcare plan.

The company’s official position supports women’s right to choose abortion, even in the face of the possible overturn of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court.

“Regardless of what the Supreme Court ends up deciding, we will always ensure our partners have access to quality health care,” Sara Kelly, Starbucks’ acting executive vice president of partner resources, wrote in a letter to employees.

Though most companies have stayed quiet regarding the revelation that the Supreme Court likely intends to overturn Roe v Wade, some have enacted similar initiatives to Starbucks.

Amazon announced it would cover up to $4,000 in travel and hotel expenses for employees who are forced to travel for non-life threatening medical treatments, which includes abortion and gender-confirmation procedures.

The company has been offering that benefit since the beginning of the year and, like Starbucks’, applies if an employee is more than 100 miles from the nearest facility that offers the treatments.

Tesla is also offering to pay for its employees to travel out of state for abortions.

The move will likely buy the coffee giant some good faith with customers after several weeks of critical coverage due to the company’s attempts to thwart a unionisation effort by its workers. It is unclear if the travel offering will be extended to unionised stores.

Starbucks announced it would pay workers in non-union stores more and offer better benefits, which further upset labour organisers and members of the public. The company’s CEO, Howard Schultz, said he could not legally offer benefits to the unionised workers because they had to negotiate their own contract.

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