Survey: Nearly All Workers Value Employer-Provided Reproductive Health Benefits
Workspan Daily
July 15, 2022

A new survey from Indeed.com finds most workers saying it’s important that their employer offers reproductive health benefits.  

In a survey of more than 1,000 full-time employees, 89% said it is important to them that the company they work for provides reproductive health benefits, with 43% indicating that the company they work for has announced the addition of abortion care assistance to their benefits package in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s recent reversal of Roe v. Wade. According to Indeed, only 17% of respondents said they had access to those benefits via their employer before the recent Supreme Court ruling.  

Among workers who reported this addition to their benefits: 

  • 73% said their new benefits include financial assistance for abortion care services.  
  • 63% indicated their companies have provided actionable steps for how employees can leverage the new policy.  
  • 60% said their new benefits provide financial assistance for travel expenses. 
  • 54% reported that abortion care assistance is provided only to full-time employees within their organization.  
  • 32% said their new benefits cover time off to receive care.  

“With a sizable percentage of the people surveyed reporting access to new reproductive health benefits, companies are navigating new and complicated territory,” Joceylne Gafner, a content writer at Indeed.com, wrote. “The health and privacy of employees is at stake, and our survey suggests that, for many employees, the processes currently in place to access their newly added benefits may put both at risk.”  

Facebook Memo Urges Managers to Call Out Low Performers 

In a move that one report called “a dramatic change of tone for the social media giant [that] once set the tone for the relaxed and laid-back attitude that characterized Silicon Valley,” an internal Meta memo instructed engineering managers to report low performers to human resources.  

Sent by Maher Saba, the head of engineering at the company more commonly known as Facebook, the memo directed managers to report anyone who “needs support” to HR by 5 p.m. on Monday, July 11.  

“If a direct report is coasting or is a low performer, they are not who we need; they are failing this company,” Saba wrote. “As a manager, you cannot allow someone to be net neutral or negative for Meta.” 

The memo was distributed “as Facebook’s value has plummeted in the past months, declining nearly 52% since the start of 2022,” wrote the Daily Mail’s Alex Oliveira, “amidst an ongoing reckoning of the company’s privacy policies that has gutted its longtime method of making money by selling user data.”  

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees during a June 2022 companywide call that he expected to reduce engineering hiring plans by at least 30% as a way to cut costs. 

“The memo from Saba appeared to be one of the first steps in that process,” Oliveira wrote, “with many employees expressing fear that their jobs may be on the line in the face of layoffs.”  

California $18 Minimum Wage Initiatives Qualifies for 2024 Ballot 

An initiative to increase the state of California’s minimum wage from $15 to $18 by 2026 for all employers has qualified for the state’s 2024 election ballot, after missing the deadline to make the ballot in 2022.  

The ballot initiative would increase the state minimum wage over several years until it reaches $18 by 2026 for all employers in the state, which last increased the minimum wage in 2016. The new ballot initiative would increase the minimum wage at different speeds, depending on whether an employer has 26 or more employees, or 25 or fewer workers.  

For employers with 26 or more workers, the minimum wage would reach $18 on Jan. 1, 2025. For organizations with 25 or fewer workers, the minimum wage would reach $18 on Jan. 1, 2026. The minimum wage would be tied to inflation after reaching $18.  

Joe Sanberg, the Los Angeles-based investor and anti-poverty activist who filed the ballot initiative, noted the urgency for raising the state’s minimum wage again. “The time is now, because the pandemic has heightened the people’s understanding of the realities so many Californians face,” he said in a statement. “Cost of living is rising faster and faster...but wages haven’t increased commensurately.”  

The initiative has been met with some opposition. For example, John Kabateck, California’s state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said in a statement that “[the] market, not politicians and bureaucrats, ought to be dictating the financial growth and success of working men and women in California. Let the market dictate this and let’s stop sending the message that mediocrity is a pathway to processional success in California.”  

Nine states have passed laws or ballot measures that incrementally increase their statewide minimum wage rates to $15 per hour, with California being the first to reach the $15 per-hour threshold in 2022.  

Study: Record Number of Workplace Bullying Claims During Pandemic 

As Bloomberg reported, a historic number of bullying claims have been part of lawsuits in the United Kingdom’s employment courts over the past year, “in a sign that, while working from home is welcomed by many, it’s also contributing to tensions for others,” wrote Bloomberg’s Katharine Gemmell.  

An analysis from employment law firm Fox & Partners found that employment tribunals, which hear actions brought against employers by workers, saw a 44% surge in cases that included bullying allegations. The number increased to 835 suits in the 12 months through the end of March, compared to 581 in the previous period.  

This jump could serve as a wake-up call for many firms and shows that leadership teams have “struggled to maintain healthy workplaces during the shift to hybrid working,” said Ivor Adair, a partner at Fox & Partners, in a statement.  

In its analysis, the firm also provided examples of bullying patterns that are hard to identify, “such as leaving colleagues out of remote meetings, gossiping on messaging apps and making cutting remarks on video calls that are hard to address,” Gemmell wrote.  

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