author_name|Bryan Menegus language|en-US OBGYN provider_name|Engadget region|US site|engadget

Big tech’s abortion travel policies do nothing for the contractor workforce

The Supreme Court’s ruling last week transformed many states where access to abortion is prohibited overnight. to those who are where they are now actual . Congressional Democrats have squandered nearly 50 years of opportunities to strengthen the right to bodily autonomy, and now a post-Roe The nation, large corporations try to perform some form of triage, but their solutions, especially among tech firms, often exclude the overwhelming majority of the workforce.

Alphabet, Meta, Amazon, Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have recently announced or reiterated policies for employees to cover or offset the cost of traveling out of state to seek medical services, including abortion. while, as voxEmily Stewart rightly so no one should have to choose between disclosing a forced pregnancy or abortion to their employer’s HR department, it’s all the more grim for the army of contractors who keep the same jobs and don’t have the same options.

Lots of workers at risk here. In many cases, that’s far more than the number of full-time employees these companies have on their payroll. The most recent prediction for content moderators on Facebook in 2020 was: — A number that does not include moderators on Meta’s other social platforms and almost certainly excludes contingent workers in many of the company’s offices and data centers. (Full-time staff, by the way, from discussing abortion-related issues at work.)

Amazon boasted of creating 158,000 for a network of delivery service providers. Once again, this does not include contract drivers, data center and office support workers, or those who maintain the company’s more than 1,100 warehouses through the internal Amazon Flex program. The alphabet was the subject of critical reporting in 2018 when it was found. The majority of workers at the tech giant were not employees. The number of temporary workers, vendors or contractors (TVCs as the company calls it) is not made public, but .

For “gig” companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, the balance is even more skewed. Estimates of the number of contractor drivers working for Uber, against its nearly 30,000 employees, with , about one million of those operating in the United States. The most cited claim is that Lyft has nearly 1.4 million drivers in the US and Toronto – but that figure is almost from and it is likely to be much larger now. DoorDash’s 6,000 employees are dwarfed by an alleged fleet .

It is also quite possible (although still unclear at this time) that these policies will not apply to part-time workers, as these travel reimbursements appear to be managed through employer-provided healthcare services that part-time workers do not typically qualify for. Therefore, it is also unclear whether these companies have had any input in establishing these reimbursement programs or whether the credit belongs to the respective health insurance providers. Meta, Amazon, Alphabet, and Uber did not respond to requests for comment, while Lyft and DoorDash declined to answer specific questions and forwarded available comments to the press.

A Meta spokesperson told Engadget: “We aim to offer travel expense reimbursement to employees who will need access to out-of-state health and reproductive services to the extent permitted by law, given the legal complexities involved in doing so.”

“It is critical that all DoorDash employees and their dependents who are covered in our health plans have fair and timely access to safe healthcare,” a spokesperson told Engadget. “DoorDash will cover certain travel-related expenses for employees who face new barriers to access and new barriers to accessing healthcare.” traveling out of state for abortion-related care.”

“Lyft’s US medical assistance plan includes optional abortion coverage and travel reimbursement if an employee has to travel more than 100 miles for an in-network provider,” Lyft Head of Business Affairs Kristin Sverchek said in a blog. Released on June 24. When asked if the company is doing anything for its fleet of drivers, a spokesperson instead pointed to a section of the same blog post, where Sverchek wrote that the company is “partnered with the company.” [Planned Parenthood] Piloting the Women’s Access to Transport program.” or “statementIt appears elsewhere in Planned Parenthood’s press releases, and the organization did not respond to a request for comment until the time of publication. Lyft was not commenting on who the program would cover, what access it would provide, what funding it had, where it would be operational or when it was anticipated to launch. .

The hollowness of these gestures towards abortion access has not been lost on some workers. The Alphabet Workers Union, a subgroup of Communications Workers of America, issued a statement yesterday, criticizing its namesake company for failing to roll out these new policies to contingent workers. “Google announced that after the Roe v. Wade case was overturned, full-time employees will have access to relocation services. Living in states with restricted access to abortion are likely non-white workers,” said Parul Koul, AWU member and Google software engineer.

What has resonated widely over the past few decades of the Republicans’ project to restrict access to abortion has been that new barriers – closing clinics, enacting pregnancy bans, and now tipping or They don’t prevent abortions, they just trustworthy abortion . Current projections suggest that the number of abortions is only likely to drop . The burden of a forced pregnancy is certain to fall overwhelmingly on those who are economically disadvantaged: those who do not have a stable job, good salary, employer-sponsored health care, or the time and savings to take time off to leave work. abortion. In many cases, the situation described here fits right in with those of contractors that these new reimbursement policies implicitly exclude, making these companies complicit in two-tier access, in a sense. Republicans have largely succeeded in making a reality. Tech companies cannot promise to build the future while large numbers of workforces are stranded in 1972.

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