What should employers do about Dobbs?
There are few issues more divisive than abortion rights. Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion in the most recent Supreme Court Decision, reflected on the dilemma in the opening paragraph:
“Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views. Some believe fervently that a human person comes into being at conception and that abortion ends an innocent life. Others feel just as strongly that any regulation of abortion invades a woman’s right to control her own body and prevents women from achieving full equality. Still others in a third group think that abortion should be allowed under some but not all circumstances, and those within this group hold a variety of views about the particular restrictions that should be imposed.” (Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization June 2022)
Now that the decision has been made to overturn Roe vs. Wade, which has been largely undisturbed for almost 50 years, what impact does this have on the workplace and what can we as HR professionals do to prepare? Should the company be addressing this with employees, or make a statement on social media, or just stay out if it altogether?
No matter what, you need to be prepared for questions from employees on how the decision will impact the workplace. Review and re-evaluate your policies and benefit programs. It is important to discuss all options with legal counsel. Additionally, speak with company stakeholders on how best to prepare for and respond to employee questions related to the decision. Also, what public position, if any, will the organization take on the issue. It is important to note that inaction is action.
Most importantly, be understanding and compassionate with employees. This can be a very emotional issue and tensions are running high.
Industrial UI Services (IUI) is a nationally recognized leader in Unemployment Cost Control and HR Support Services. We provide a range of human resources support services. These #HumanResources services include employee handbook development and implementation, policy development, management trainings including inclusion, diversity, and equity (IDE), anti-harassment, and other vital and necessary HR support services. Please contact JoLynn Haresign or Anthony Paradiso for further information.
Feel free to reach out to us to coordinate management training or to discuss some effective strategies.