We’re back in the workplace newsletter. The constitutional right to abortion was eliminated by the Supreme Court. How will tech companies that have headquarters in states with restrictive abortion laws respond?
Only 29% of employees think the executives at the top of their companies are leading with empathy, and Yelp is getting rid of office space in NYC, D.C. and Chicago.
Since May, the likelihood of a reversal has been building. There is no constitutional right to abortion and anyone who has been hesitant to act based on a draft opinion will have to face this reality.
Tech companies are included.
Tech leaders have been preparing for this for a month. Some companies based in states with abortion restrictions have been very open about their benefits. Protocol reached back to find out how the overturn has affected the plans.
- Yelp clarified that its decision to cover abortion-related travel costs back in April was “not limited to states that had already banned equitable access to reproductive care.” Employees in states with abortion bans now triggered by Roe are eligible as well.
- DoorDash underscored the anonymity of employees seeking travel reimbursement for abortion. A third-party administrator, bound by HIPAA, will handle the benefit. Still, with abortion further stigmatized, workers might be hesitant to disclose their abortion needs in a work environment.
- CEO Marc Benioff tweeted, “Salesforce moves employees when they feel threatened or experience discrimination.”
- Dell, which had previously declined to comment on a draft opinion, did not mention abortion by name but told Protocol, “We continue to work with our health care plan administrators to ensure the health coverage we offer provides access to all types of covered care, even when providers are not available in a team member’s home location.”
- Iesha Berry, chief diversity and engagement officer at DocuSign, said the company will continue to cover travel and paid time off to access reproductive care out-of-state.
- Companies like Microsoft and Match Group pointed Protocol to existing information on benefits, while others like Tesla and Apple didn’t respond to our request for comment at all.
There are a lot of reactions from leaders in tech on social media.
- Bill Gates called Friday a “sad day,” saying Roe’s reversal is an “unjust and unacceptable setback.”
- Girls Who Code Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani published a thread decrying the decision and listing out ways to fight back.
- Slack’s Stewart Butterfield told CNN’s Julia Chatterley on Thursday that businesses should respond by covering abortion-related travel, the way they should with any inaccessible medical procedure. He added, “I know this is a very personal debate for many people, and I have strong opinions, and I think I represent the opinions of our employees. We want to be respectful to everyone, but at the same time I don’t think we can take away these fundamental reproductive rights from people, and companies have a bit of an obligation to support their employees.”
If the Supreme Court overturns civil rights protections, how tech companies respond will set the standard.
- “[W]e should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion. These rulings cemented rights to contraception access, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage.
- None of the companies Protocol reached out to specified how they’re preparing for future blows to civil rights.
- “We can’t speculate on future court decisions, but are focused on doing all we can to support our employees and ensure they and their dependents have timely, equitable access to healthcare,” DoorDash spokesperson Abby Homer wrote.
— Lizzy Lawrence, reporter (email | twitter)
The New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. offices will close in favor of remote work. The company is cutting back on real estate in Phoenix. Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp, said in a public post that only 1% of the company’s employees go to the office every day. The company decided to keep its headquarters in San Francisco, which was reduced to three floors. Stoppelman doubled down on his belief that remote-first is the best path forward for Yelp and that even a hybrid model is a mistake if it requires employees to show up at the office regularly. Stoppelman has clashed with other leaders over the merits of remote work and the future of work. Stoppelman rebutted the founder of the fund after he said he wanted to fund IRL. In the future he wants to fully embrace remote.
Read the entire story.
As enterprises face the next wave of innovation, full-stack observability should be a priority, as it allows companies to easily identify where they can prioritize performance and tackle issues that impact their bottom line. IT leaders can use this correlation of technology and business data to make smarter decisions.
Read about it from AppDynamics.
More and more employees expect their business leaders to acknowledge the link between work and life outside of work, as work and life outside of work are increasingly linked. In March of 2022, a survey of 230 HR leaders and a separate survey of 3,400 employees were conducted by the same company.
- 90% of HR leaders surveyed believe that executives need to “focus on the human aspects of leadership” to succeed in today’s work environment, which the report describes as being authentic, empathetic and adaptive (as in, enabling workplace flexibility).
- Despite this, only 29% of employees surveyed reported that their leader displays these qualities.
- Leading with empathy, adaptability and authenticity is a winning combination for those who do. Gartner found a 37% increase in engagement among employees who report to a “human leader” vs. those who don’t. Highly engaged employees improved their team’s performance by up to 27%.
— Michelle Ma, reporter (email | twitter)
As enterprises face the next wave of innovation, full-stack observability should be a priority. Organizations that have already begun the move to a full-stack observability approach are seeing results and clear return on investment. Over the last year, more than 80% of technologists reported greater visibility across their IT stack when implementing full-stack.
Read about it from AppDynamics.
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