- Jefferies is set to tell employees on Monday that it will cover their abortion-related travel costs.
- The bank's CEO and president will also donate $1 million to causes that "champion women's rights."
- Corporations have vowed to pay for abortion-related travel following the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Jefferies Financial Group is set to join a host of Wall Street banks and giants throughout the ranks of corporate America in committing to pay for employees' out-of-state travel to seek an abortion, Insider has exclusively learned.
The bank, which counts more than 4,700 staffers, will announce later on Monday morning in an internal memo that it will "cover any employee-partners' costs should she decide to terminate a pregnancy and be forced to do so in a state other than the one in which she lives." (See the full memo below.)
The vow from the New York-based firm follows the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to reverse Roe v. Wade on Friday, handing authority over whether or not to legalize abortion back to the states and bringing an end to a nearly 50-year chapter in which abortion has been legal nationwide.
What's more, CEO Richard Handler and President Brian Friedman, who will co-sign the memo, are set to add that, in their "individual capacities," they will "donate a combined $1 million in support of charitable causes that champion women's rights."
The two leaders will turn to the Jefferies Women's Initiative — a network that "invests in the recruitment, retention, and advancement" of women at the firm — for suggestions about which charitable organizations to support.
Following the reversal of Roe v. Wade, other large companies like Disney, Meta (owner of Facebook), and Dick's Sporting Goods pledged to help cover employees' expenses tied to abortion-related travel. So, too, have Wall Street banks.
Insider first reported on Friday that Goldman Sachs promised employees it will add travel related to abortion to its healthcare reimbursement benefits, following an earlier vow by JPMorgan Chase. "Millions of women are right now grappling with a new legal reality. I know many of you are deeply upset, and I stand with you," Goldman CEO David Solomon told staffers on Friday in an internal statement exclusively obtained by Insider.
Protests swept the nation over the weekend as Americans came to terms with the implications of the landmark decision. President Joe Biden called Friday a "sad day" for the nation in an address following the Court's ruling and said it showed "how far removed" the positions of the conservative justices on the bench are from "the majority of the country."
"The health and life of women in this nation are now at risk," Biden said.
Here's the full memo that Jefferies' CEO and president will send to staff on Monday morning.
Subject: Personal Decision
We have thought deeply these past few days about how to respond to the recent Supreme Court decision regarding women's rights. Jefferies will, of course, join other businesses around the U.S. that will cover any employee-partners' costs should she decide to terminate a pregnancy and be forced to do so in a state other than the one in which she lives. In addition, in our individual capacities, the two of us will donate a combined $1 million in support of charitable causes that champion women's rights. We will ask jWIN (Jefferies Women's Initiative) to provide us with recommendations that we will choose from on the allocation of this $1 million.
Rich and Brian