The tables have been turned on Dick’s Sporting Goods after the liberal retailer said it would pay women $4,000 towards an abortion. Now, the company is being sued on behalf of women who don’t get a similar benefit to keep their babies.
America First Legal Foundation wants the government to investigate Dick’s Sporting Goods for the policy that reimburses employees up to $4,000 to travel for an abortion. The pro-life group argues that the practice constitutes illegal employment discrimination.
The foundation was launched by former senior Trump White House adviser Stephen Miller in February 2021. Former President Donald Trump, who is considered by many to be the most pro-life president in history, endorsed it a few weeks later.
America First Legal vows in its mission statement to “wage a forceful defense of our rights, our country, and our cherished American way of life” against “progressives [who] have used the court system to attack our founding documents, undermine the rule of law, and erode our nation’s most cherished principles and traditions.”
Employee abortion benefit programs have been popping up at corporations across the nation since a draft Supreme Court opinion indicating the court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked in early May. The court ruled the 1973 decision legalizing abortion was unconstitutional on June 24, returning the regulation of abortion to the states. The benefit reimburses the pregnant woman for traveling outside her home state which restricts abortion access to a state where obtaining an abortion is easier.
Citigroup, Disney, Warner Bros., Meta, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Lyft, Uber, Intuit, Buzzfeed Inc., Levi Strauss and Co., Starbucks, Yelp, Microsoft, Apple, MasterCard Inc., Netflix, and Zillow have also reportedly adopted the benefit policy. Typically the benefit is a travel stipend capped at $4,000, trade publication HR Dive reported. Some companies have offered abortion benefits to employees for years.
Hours after the Supreme Court ruling, Dick’s announced it would offer the abortion benefit, which provides as much as $4,000 to reimburse travel for an employee, spouse, or dependent, along with a support person, to procure an abortion.
“We recognize people feel passionately about this topic—and that there are teammates and athletes who will not agree with this decision,” Dick’s CEO Lauren Hobart said in a post on her LinkedIn page.
“However, we also recognize that decisions involving health and families are deeply personal and made with thoughtful consideration. We are making this decision so our teammates can access the same health care options, regardless of where they live, and choose what is best for them.”
Dick’s policy runs counter to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to America First Legal Senior Counselor and Director of Oversight Reed D. Rubinstein.
“We are prepared to ensure that all of our teammates have consistent and safe access to the benefits we provide, regardless of the state in which they live,” Hobart said.
Dick’s also has “inclusion and diversity goals” that “are infused with facially unlawful considerations of race, color, sex, and/or national origin.” The company discriminates on the basis of race, color, sex, and national origin in its employment and contracting policies, Rubinstein writes.
–Wire services and Metro Voice