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Amazon already has a policy in place to reimburse employees up to $10,000 for travel expenses if they're having treatments for life-threatening issues. Now, it has also introduced a policy that will benefit those seeking other kinds of treatment. According to Reuters, the e-commerce giant has told its employees in the US that it will offer up to $4,000 in annual travel reimbursements for non-life threatening medical treatments, including cellular gene therapies, substance-abuse disorder services and abortions.
Politico recently obtained an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, showing that the Supreme Court has voted to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the US. If Roe v. Wade truly gets overturned, then it's up to local state governments to decide whether to legalize or restrict abortion — and conservative states like Alabama, where Amazon has facilities, are expected to limit access to the procedure.
Reuters says Amazon will reimburse travel under the new policy if a procedure is not available within 100 miles of an employees' home and long-distance/virtual treatment isn't possible. It will apply to both office and warehouse employees, as well as their dependents enrolled in Premera or Aetna health plans. It will also be retroactively applied to eligible travel that took place within this year, starting on January 1st. As the news organization notes, it shows Amazon's efforts when it comes to retaining and attracting talent for the company.
That said, Amazon has also recently ended its paid COVID leave policy for workers. It will no longer pay time off for workers that test positive for the virus and will only offer them up to five days of unpaid leave going forward.