By Ian Gargan
Following the news of the overturn of Roe v. Wade, Dicks Sporting Goods CEO Lauren Hobart posted a statement on her LinkedIn account showing just how much she cares for her employees. She announced that Dicks will provide up to $4,000 in travel expense reimbursement to employees seeking abortion in a state where it is legally available. Former CEO ( and non-aborted son of the company’s founder) Ed Stack, agreed with her decision by sharing Hobart’s post.
This stance has the mainstream media doing nothing short of throwing Dicks and companies with similar stances a parade for their heroism. One would think Dicks is just as passionate about other reproductive health benefits, right? I mean, they must go above and beyond to assure mothers have paid maternity leave. Perhaps they even cover dependent care expenses so mothers can return to work. Well, not exactly. A quick look at Dicks on the employer review website Glassdoor shows the company as having a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars, a fairly solid rating. However, the comments, which are posted anonymously by past and current employees, do not align with the incredible vision of the Dicks founder or their current virtue signaling CEO.
Dicks hiring page on their website states, “We [Dicks Sporting Goods] are FMLA compliant,” which means they do not do anything illegal under the guidelines of the Family Medical Leave Act. That’s a good start. But the Glassdoor comments indicate otherwise. Employees say they are rushed back to work; “It’s like pulling teeth to get a leave of absence;” “difficult job to have and go on maternity leave.” Many made mention that the health insurance is “very expensive and poor coverage.”
Dicks’ CEO says, “Our teammates are the heart of our business,” and “we are committed to protecting their health and well-being.” That may be true, but is Dicks pushing an option because it works better for Dicks? Consider this: A pregnant employee who carries a child for nine months will see a reduction in production, will need reasonable accommodations at work, and postpartum, upon her return, will have the right to lactation breaks. Under FMLA, lactation breaks ensure the mother has access to a private area where she can feed or breast pump. And no, the new mother cannot use a bathroom stall; it must be a secure area with no cameras or windows. If there are security cameras in the area, they must have the ability to be switched off, which could require an upgrade in technology. Add to that a parent’s need for time off for sick children, medical appointments, and school functions.
Or the employee can just get an abortion, which will cost Dicks about $4000. Dicks is making a choice to support the bottom line more so than their employees. The payoff for Dicks is less time off for the mother and expenses that are a drop in the bucket as compared to paid parental leave.
It is also interesting to note that the abortion “benefit” is only available to employees who are currently enrolled in Dicks’ health insurance, which immediately precludes part-time employees. It is now common for large companies to control expenses by keeping employees under the average of 32 hours per week, so they do not have to offer them insurance. But can’t a company who had record profits of $4,712 million in 2021 afford to offer insurance?! Part- time employees are the ones most likely to need health insurance, especially if they become pregnant. When deciding whether to carry a child to term or to terminate it, the amount of financial support a mother has can be a deciding factor in many cases.
So, when the mainstream media praises companies for making decisions like this, we need to read between the lines. Why are they offering a more robust abortion benefit than parental benefits? Dicks has some of the biggest stores I have ever seen and can easily find space for employee daycare. (Tots can enjoy learning to golf, hunt, and fish at an early age!) But unfortunately, that is not the path they have taken. Instead, they have joined the woke mob pandering to the left. A missed marketing opportunity for a store that used to sell guns. Imagine if they had opted for a pro-life stance, paired with their support of the Second Amendment? Profits from Conservatives could soar.