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How Can Employers Protect Workers Who Seek Abortion Care?

As US states seek to reduce abortion access in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, how can employers protect workers who seek abortion care? In this Fortune article, McDermott’s David Gacioch, Sarah Raaii and Ellen Bronchetti offer insight into what the US Supreme Court’s decision means for employee healthcare data, employee benefits and Title VII.

“Any employer who doesn’t already have an assessment of what the end of Roe means for its operations and workforce…needs to get in front of this,” Gacioch said.

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Fired for Having an Abortion? Unlikely, but It’s Complicated

Could a worker be fired for having an abortion? According to this Insider article, workplace laws would likely protect pregnant people from discrimination. McDermott’s Sarah Raaii said employers should make sure abortion health plan coverage does not conflict with federal laws.

“Incorporating abortion benefits into an employer’s existing health plan might help mitigate worker privacy concerns,” Raaii said, “since health plans are subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).”

Read more here.




Abortion Questions Swirl Over Health Lawyers in Post-Roe World

Following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, health lawyers have been busy making sense of the legal implications of the court’s landmark ruling. In this Law360 article, McDermott Partners Stacey Callaghan and David Gacioch offer insight into the myriad of questions they’ve received from hospitals, pharmacies, telemedicine platforms, investors and other players in the industry.

“The field against whom [abortion restrictions] can be enforced becomes so much broader,” Gacioch said. “It’s such a sea change.”

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Workers’ Abortion Privacy at Risk as Texas Targets Employer Aid

A group of conservative Texas lawmakers is warning employers of potential civil or criminal consequences if they offer out-of-state abortion access to their employees. In this Bloomberg Law article, McDermott Partner Scott Weinstein said many companies offering reproductive healthcare benefits are making sure such benefits aren’t tied to a particular procedure.

“The goal is not to know,” Weinstein said.

Read more here.




Complex Patchwork of Laws Await Companies Offering Out-of-State Abortion Travel

Employers seeking to provide their employees with abortion services are facing a dizzying patchwork of laws that differ from state to state, according to this Corporate Counsel article. McDermott’s Sarah Raaii said companies with employees in multiple states “would really need to do a state-by-state analysis of what the abortion laws are, whether and under what circumstances abortion is legal in most states.”

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State Abortion Bans Signal Chaos for Providers

The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will generate a minefield of legal and criminal implications for healthcare providers, according to this Healthcare Dive article. McDermott Partners Stacey Callaghan and David Gacioch offer insight into what these restrictive state laws could mean for providers.

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Employers, Employees Search for Answers After Dobbs Decision

The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has left employers—and employees—with more questions than answers. While many employers have promised to pay for their employees to travel across state lines for an abortion, it’s unclear if employers might be sued for doing so. In this USA TODAY article, McDermott’s Sarah Raaii said employers may point to Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s opinion on the “constitutional right to interstate travel” for support.

Read more here.




US Supreme Court Ruling Complicates Abortion Insurance Coverage

The patchwork of US federal and state rules governing abortion insurance coverage will become more complicated following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In this MarketWatch article, McDermott’s Sarah Raaii said the situation has employers on edge.

“We’ve had a huge influx of employers reaching out and asking, ‘What should I be doing? Are there risks?’” Raaii said.

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The Overturning of Roe v. Wade

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (Dobbs), overturning Roe v. Wade (Roe) and upending 50 years of precedent protecting a woman’s right to privacy in choosing to abort a pregnancy prior to the point of viability.

The effect of this decision on US companies cannot be understated. Any organization whose operations touch family planning services in any way (e.g., providers, those that facilitate operations, investors, payors, employers that provide family planning benefits and health plan service providers) should immediately examine their precise services, geographic footprint, corporate structure and organizational priorities.

To determine the best steps to take for you and your business, we invite you to join us for the second program in our new webinar series on Wednesday, June 29, at 2:00-3:00 pm EDT with McDermott Partners Stacey Callaghan, David Gacioch and Caroline Reignley and Associate Sarah Raaii, who will analyze and share the latest developments around the reversal of Roe and its likely impacts on US companies.

Register for the webinar here.




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