On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court made huge waves by overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. A move of this caliber obviously has some huge implications, meaning employers need to take some considerations into account in terms of supporting their people. In Post-Roe America, here are some things you should start thinking about so that you can have answers for your team for if/when they start asking the hard questions.
When partaking in discussions surrounding this topic, remember to keep focus on having a productive conversation. This really isn’t the type of thing where a “middle ground” is easily found, so it’s important to not antagonize anyone and to be as respectful as possible.
We reached out to some members of our community to get their thoughts on what HR needs to do:
We interviewed an HR leader and here’s what they sent out to their team in regards to the decision:
“While we know that this ruling may be very upsetting to some, we respectfully ask that you give some consideration to the following:
Thank you in advance for your support of our entire team, and our goal of inclusivity and respectfulness in the workplace.
If this decision impacts your clients or the work that you do, you should consider how discussions around this will be addressed. If you choose to facilitate an internal discussion on the matter, we encourage facilitators of these discussion to review the “Tips for Facilitating CivIl Discussions” published by SHRM, shared below:
They also added:
“Some companies will not make changes to their benefits regardless of each state’s decisions. Other organizations are taking a stance on this and are changing their benefits. The decision around this is up to each organization, but your approach to this should be discussed with your senior leadership team, as you should expect questions on this from your employees.”
Furthermore, HR Consultant and Expert, Gemma Toth, SHRM-SCP, CDEI, contributed the following:
“Upper management needs to be educated on what their current insurance covers. Prior to overturning of Roe v Wade, most insurance companies already have reproductive coverage including abortion. Make sure those stay intact as there are still many states that cover that. Be on the lookout for TPAs that can help navigate and manage the need to assist those in states that made this illegal. Provide better leave beyond FMLA and EAP much like those states that still support women the right to choose.”
The consensus is that HR needs to be prepared for the logistics that this decision will imply. Questions about benefits and policy adjustments are practically guaranteed to arise so businesses need to have answers and plans ready to go, such as those dealing with what health benefits are available and potential health-based travel stipends. Difficult conversations may take place, so it’s more important now than ever to emphasize the human aspect of HR. Remember that we’re dealing with people coming from all different backgrounds, situations, and belief systems. Maintain your team’s best interest at the forefront of your plans and remember to support and reassure team members in need.
While any advice on this topic may seem vague, it’s because this topic is extremely sensitive, and there really isn’t one single “right” way to go. That’s why we’d like to reiterate that the key to navigating through this is to support your employees, listen to their concerns, and be respectful, regardless of inevitable differences in beliefs.