Some businesses think twice before sending their employees to certain states on travel assignments. Find out why.
State Laws Causing Concerns for Business Travelers
Conservative states that have implemented abortion bans and anti-LGBTQ legislation may see a decline in business travel, according to some experts with knowledge of the business travel industry.
Work Trips Returning to Pre-Pandemic Numbers
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, business travel has seen a stark decline, but experts say the numbers are picking back up.
With more employees packing their bags, some supervisors are considering potential risks to their safety that do not involve COVID-19.
Risks for Vulnerable Populations in Conservative States
Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the nearly 200 anti-LGBTQ bills across the country, women and LGBTQ employees may find themselves in precarious situations when traveling for work.
Boycotts Likely as State Laws Restrict Rights
Some businesses, artists, and celebrities have instituted or threatened boycotts against certain states.
History of Success
Such boycotts have been successful in the past.
After North Carolina passed an anti-trans bathroom bill that required people to use the bathroom that aligned with the gender assigned at birth, many boycotts ultimately convinced state legislators to get rid of the law.
Companies Consider Staff Safety
With real concerns about their employees’ safety when traveling for work, some companies are taking steps to protect their staff. Caged Bird HR’s CEO, Cierra Gross spoke about how she handles the issue.
“We Think Critically About Who We Are Sending Where”
“We think critically about who we are sending where and ask employees if they’re comfortable going to a state that has demonstrated they are not inclusive towards people with certain identities.”
Concerns About Putting Employees’ “Safety on the Line”
Gross continued, “We could be putting someone’s physical and psychological safety on the line in some of these states.”
Some Leave It up to Employees
Some companies have chosen to continue scheduling business trips to risky states but have implemented policies that protect employees’ rights to refuse travel to certain areas if they feel they might be at risk.
HR Experts Weigh In
Next Level Benefits’ CEO Lauren Winans said these policies “allow employees to express concerns, establish boundaries or refuse travel.”
An Issue That Spans Multiple Industries
PlanHub, a SaaS company that provides construction management software, has said they are “assessing potential risks tied to the legal and political landscape in various regions.”
Boycotts Are Harmful, Some Workers Say
Despite documented success after boycotts, some oppose them.
Since boycotts can have a negative financial impact on workers and business owners who fall in vulnerable categories, it is possible that they hurt more than intended.
Travel Advisories in Place
Some civil rights organizations have issued official warnings and travel advisories, encouraging people to avoid travel or exercise caution when traveling to certain states.
Canadians Warned About U.S. Travel
Canada issued a nationwide advisory to warn its citizens that travel to the United States could come with safety risks as a result of anti-LGBTQ laws and abortion bans.
Considerate Companies Are Few and Quiet
According to HR experts, the companies that are considering these risks are in the minority. The ones that are evaluating risks tend to be quiet about it.
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