Starbucks made a controversial announcement Monday stating that it will pay the travel expenses for employees seeking to have an abortion or gender-affirming procedures when those services are not available within 100 miles of an employee’s residence.
“Regardless of where you live or what you believe, partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare will now be offered reimbursement for eligible travel expenses when accessing abortion or gender-affirming procedures when those services are not available within 100 miles of a partner’s home,” Sara Kelly, acting EVP, Partner Resources, wrote in a letter to the company’s employees. “This benefit will also apply to dependents of partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare.
“Whatever healthcare choice you believe is right for you and your family, you deserve access to those services and the benefits that Starbucks provides.”
The move comes after a leak earlier this month of a Supreme Court draft indicating Roe v. Wade would be overturned later this year.
Last month Starbucks said it was considering adding benefits to employees who do not unionize. CEO Howard Schultz told store owners he is looking over the company’s benefits, adding that workers in company-owned stores that vote to unionize would not be eligible for the upgraded benefits.
A Starbucks spokesperson said the company is still ironing out details, including when the benefit will take effect and whether it would apply to employees represented by the union.
Starbucks, which has 240,000 U.S. employees, is known to advocate for various social causes, including same-sex marriage and pledging to hire refugees.
The Supreme Court leak sent shockwaves throughout the nation, prompting a surge in vasectomies and Justice Clarence Thomas saying the news has changed the court.