So much happening in the news these days it can be hard to keep up, but this one is big so wanted to make sure you didn’t miss it. Late last week, the Trump administration announced new rules that will allow companies to stop covering birth control on employer-based healthcare plans if they feel like it. That’s right: if the rules aren't blocked, companies will be able to just straight-up not cover a vital part of healthcare for women. Just because. The only test is whether the company is willing to say that they have a moral or religious objection to basic healthcare.
The very same day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued new legal guidance holding that employers can claim exemptions from antidiscrimination laws if they say they have a religious objection to basic workplace rights.
It’s a little ridiculous to even have to ask this but here goes:
Do you think your employer’s supposed sense of morality should have anything to do with your healthcare benefits or your rights at work?
- No! Your body is none of your employer’s business.
- No! Discrimination isn’t a religion.
- No! Employers have enough power already.
- No! This is a stupid question of course the answer is no!
- No! All of the above!
- No! Just no!
I mean, if they think this is ok what laws they going to let employers pick & choose not to follow next? Are they going to allow exemptions from paid family leave if your boss doesn’t happen to approve of the kind of family you have? Are they going to allow price-gouging if a home improvement chain's controlling shareholder thinks the victims of a natural disaster deserved it? Are they going to allow restaurants to opt out of health and safety rules if they find latex gloves to be morally distasteful?
And let’s be clear, this isn't about the cost. Birth control may not always be cheap out-of-pocket, but it doesn’t add much of anything to health insurance premiums. And not discriminating doesn’t cost a penny.
This isn’t about money. It’s about power.
And it’s time to build our power to fight back.
Joining Working Washington is a first step. And an important one. We're winning breakthrough after breakthrough for workers' rights in our state. We're changing the balance of power. And we're not about to stop now — which is why we need you in our corner to fight back against atrocious nonsense like this.
Thanks for the support. Let's keep fighting back.
Source: Trump Administration Rolls Back Birth Control Mandate, NY Times, 10/6/2017