How remote work influenced Yelp’s new abortion policies

June 6, 2022, 1:28 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Almost 400,000 women joined the U.S. labor force last month, two founders launched the Latino Media Network, and remote work makes corporate abortion policies even more important. Have a good Monday.

Two trends. The leaked Supreme Court draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade coincides with another change to American life: the rise of remote work. While both topics might not seem connected at first glance, for many workplaces, they are.

Twenty-six states are considered certain or likely to ban abortion post-Roe, meaning that without federally mandated reproductive rights, Americans will have disparate levels of access to reproductive care, depending on location. As with most things, the effects bleed into the workplace. With companies increasingly employing workers throughout the U.S., rather than in a few coastal hubs as they did before the pandemic, coming up with coherent abortion policies is even more critical.

That was the case for Yelp, which decided weeks before the Supreme Court leak that its health insurance plan will continue to cover abortion and added the coverage of transportation costs for employees who must travel to seek care.

Prior to the pandemic, most of Yelp’s U.S. workers were based in California, with some scattered among Chicago, New York, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. Few worked remotely. Now, the business and restaurant review platform has 4,000 employees in all 50 states and calls itself a remote-first business with some offices, but without a physical HQ. The vast majority of employees work remotely.

“Having employees spread out across more geographies makes this issue much more sensitive because employees are more likely than in the past to be in geographies that are more restrictive,” explains Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman. “We can’t just rely on, ‘Oh, the states that Yelp has employees in will be fine, therefore we’re not going to worry about it.’”

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman
Courtesy of Yelp

But even if the past two years hadn’t seen the rise of remote work, Yelp wouldn’t have taken that approach, Stoppelman says, clarifying that to do so would be a “cynical way to deal with the issue.”

“We knew this was a possibility,” Stoppelman says of the court decision. “We wanted to be able to be sure our employees are well supported.”

Yelp first became meaningfully engaged with the issue of reproductive health care access in 2018 after Stoppelman watched a segment of the HBO series Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, discussing crisis pregnancy centers. The company, which was founded in 2004 and took in $1 billion in revenue in 2021, began signing letters expressing its support for abortion rights, including the 2019 “Don’t Ban Equality” campaign, and lobbying against the passage of SB8, the six-week abortion ban in Texas, last year.

Though the final Supreme Court decision is expected to arrive in late June, relatively few businesses have voiced support for abortion rights or announced the implementation of workforce policies to deal with the likely reversal of Roe. Many businesses that have become leading voices on the issue are women-led; Stoppelman is the rare male public company CEO to speak out in strong terms.

“It’s a terrible decision, and it really impacts the well-being of our employees,” Stoppelman says of the anticipated overturn of Roe. “We can’t sit idly by.”

Emma Hinchliffe

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Back to work. Last month, almost 400,000 women joined the labor force, according to the May U.S. jobs report and the National Women’s Law Center. The boost increased women’s labor force participation to 58.3%, only “one percentage point below their pre-pandemic labor force participation.” Women of color joined the labor force in the highest numbers. But unemployment also rose as more women said they were looking for work. CNBC

Top of her game. Iga Swiatek defeated Coco Gauff in straight sets, 6-1 6-3, to win the French Open on Saturday. The Grand Slam title is the 21-year-old tennis star’s second. The victory also marked her 35th consecutive win, matching a Venus Williams record. Gauff, 18, reflected on the loss. “I know that I’ll get this opportunity again, and I hope that I can come on top next time,” she said. CNN

Platty joobs. The Platinum Jubilee celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the British throne came to a close yesterday after four days of celebrations. The Jubilee Pageant included a military parade and musical performances. In total, British taxpayers spent £28 million on the historic event. NBC News

Listen up. Jess Morales Rocketto and Stephanie Valencia are the cofounders behind a new media company: Latino Media Network. The founders raised $80 million to launch the venture with the acquisition of 18 mostly Spanish-language radio stations from TelevisaUnivision. Both founders have a background in politics—in the Obama administration and the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign—and aim to reach Latinx audiences starting with audio. Their fundraise is one of the largest ever for Latina founders. Axios


Formula fix? The Abbott production facility that shut down, prompting a nationwide shortage of infant formula, will resume production, the company announced on Saturday. The Sturgis, Mich., plant was permitted to resume production following a May agreement with federal officials. The Guardian

Clap back. A biographer of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last week that Yellen urged the Biden administration to pare down the size of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in 2021, cautioning over potential inflation. But Yellen denied the report, saying she “never urged adoption of a smaller American Rescue Plan package, and believe[s] that ARP played a central role in driving strong growth throughout 2021 and afterwards.” Reuters

Next steps. After the announcement of Sheryl Sandberg’s upcoming exit from Meta, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen weighed in on the future of the company. Meta won’t recover from its disinformation and user data-privacy issues without the departure of founder Mark Zuckerberg, Haugen said. Bloomberg


Inspired by Johnny Depp, Kyle Rittenhouse ready to file defamation lawsuits Vice

Kate Bush streams jump 8,000% thanks to Stranger Things The AV Club

Why the women of Abbott Elementary could teach chemistry L.A. Times

My search for the “missed disease” The Cut


“It’s just in a savings account. Don’t ask me where. It’s my nest egg for when I start out in my life.”

—Zaila Avant-garde, 15, who earned $50,000 when she won the Scripps National Spelling Bee a year ago

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