SEATTLE – Starbucks said Monday it will pay travel expenses for U.S. employees to access abortion and gender confirmation procedures if those services are not available within 100 miles of a worker’s home.
The Seattle coffee giant said it will also make the travel benefit available to dependents of employees enrolled in Starbucks’ health care plan. Starbucks has 240,000 employees in the United States; it was not immediately clear what percentage of them are enrolled in the company’s health care plan.
Starbucks is one of the most high-profile companies to adopt a travel benefit following a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would strike down the nation’s abortion rights.
“Regardless of what the Supreme Court ultimately decides, we will always ensure that our partners have access to quality health care,” wrote Sara Kelly, acting executive vice president of partner resources at Starbucks, in a statement. letter to employees.
Amazon also covers up to $4,000 in travel and accommodation costs for employees seeking non-fatal medical treatment, including abortions and gender confirmation procedures. According to messages sent to staff, the benefit has been in place since the start of this year and applies if the procedure is not available within 100 miles of an employee’s home.
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Tesla also said earlier this month that it would cover travel costs for employees seeking out-of-state abortions. Some companies, including Levi Strauss & Co., Yelp and Citigroup, have pledged to pay travel expenses for Texas employees who want abortions, in response to a 2021 Texas law banning abortions after around six weeks of pregnancy.
But many other companies, including Walmart and Facebook, have remained silent on the burning issue for now.
Starbucks did not immediately say whether the travel benefit would automatically be extended to stores that voted to unionize. At least 69 of the company’s U.S. stores have voted to unionize since late 2021, and many more have called on the federal government to hold union elections. Starbucks opposes unionization.
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Earlier this month, Starbucks angered union organizers by announcing increased wages and benefits for workers at its non-union stores. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said at the time that the company was not legally allowed to offer benefits at unionized stores because those stores must negotiate their own contracts.