On June 24, 2022, we received reader mail that asked if Dick's Sporting Goods had made an announcement about providing an employee travel reimbursement of up to $4,000 in benefits related to seeking an abortion. This was indeed true. The announcement went viral on Twitter in the following tweet:
The announcement was posted by the company's President and CEO Lauren Hobart on her LinkedIn profile. Ed Stack, the company's executive chairman and former CEO, also published the same message on his own LinkedIn profile. Stack is the son of the company's original founder, Dick.
According to the posts, the benefit of up to $4,000 is to be provided to any employees, spouses, or dependents who are enrolled in the company's medical plans, "along with one support person."
The company's announcement followed shortly after the breaking news that the U.S. Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade, which effectively stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion.
The full announcement from Dick's Sporting Goods about its new abortion benefit read as follows:
At DICK’S, our teammates are the heart of our business, and we are committed to protecting their health and well-being.
Today, the Supreme Court announced a decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, removing the federal right to an abortion and leaving the decision up to each state.
While we do not know what decision each state will make in response to this ruling, we at DICK’S Sporting Goods 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.
In response to today’s ruling, we are announcing that if a state one of our teammates lives in restricts access to abortion, DICK’S Sporting Goods will provide up to $4,000 in travel expense reimbursement to travel to the nearest location where that care is legally available. This benefit will be provided to any teammate, spouse or dependent enrolled in our medical plan, along with one support person.
We recognize people feel passionately about this topic -- and that there are teammates and athletes who will not agree with this decision. 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.
In sum, yes, Dick's Sporting Goods really did announce a new employee benefit related to abortion. The benefit provides up to $4,000 for any employees or others covered under company medical plans who live in states that restrict abortion rights to travel to the nearest state that offers care.
Gunther, Marc. “Dick’s Sporting Goods: Retail’s Rising Star.” Fortune, 27 Apr. 2010, https://archive.fortune.com/2010/04/20/news/companies/dicks_sporting_goods.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2010042709.
Lauren, Hobart. “At DICK’S, Our Teammates Are the Heart of Our Business, and We Are.” LinkedIn, 24 June 2022, https://www.linkedin.com/posts/lauren-hobart-0656893_at-dicks-our-teammates-are-the-heart-of-activity-6946126055220936705-HPGn.
MacGuill, Dan, and Jessica Lee. “Live Fact-Checking Updates: US Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade.” Snopes.com, https://www.snopes.com/news/2022/06/24/dobbs-supreme-court-roe-wade/.
@mattlindner. Twitter, 24 June 2022, https://twitter.com/mattlindner/status/1540363274910171137.
Sherman, Mark. “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade; States Can Ban Abortion.” AP News, 24 June 2022, https://apnews.com/article/abortion-supreme-court-decision-854f60302f21c2c35129e58cf8d8a7b0.
Stack, Ed. “At DICK’S, Our Teammates Are the Heart of Our Business, and We Are.” LinkedIn, 24 June 2022, https://www.linkedin.com/posts/ed-stack_at-dicks-our-teammates-are-the-heart-of-activity-6946133930026680320-58cw.