Hulu Is Slashing Parental Leave As Parent Company Disney Boosts Abortion Benefits

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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Hulu is among one of the many companies cutting back on parental leave from 20 to eight weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal, while its parent company, Disney, promised employees it would help cover abortion-related travel expenses after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Disney, which owns a majority share of Hulu, pledged in June to pitch in for travel expenses when employees travel out of state for abortions and expressed commitment to making medical care, including abortions, accessible to employees. Hulu is one of many companies now paring back its parental leave options due to inflation concerns, according to the WSJ.

Disney acquired Hulu in 2019, and Hulu employees are on Disney’s employee benefit program through Fidelity.

Hulu’s decision is part of a broader trend of companies scaling back parental leave options: employers offering paid leave beyond what the law requires have dropped from 53% in 2020 to 35% in 2022, according to the WSJ. Companies offering paid paternity leave fell from 44% to 27% in that timeframe.

Shrinking parental leave benefits push families to pay for child care sooner, which is the largest expense families face, according to the WSJ. One Hulu employee who is considering having a child said he and his wife had to consider the costs of childcare in light of this change in policy.

“If my job is cutting back on my parental leave, how am I going to afford child care if I don’t get paid more?” he told the WSJ.

Meanwhile, companies have also made pushes to make abortion cheaper and easier to access for employees and reminded their workforce of the abortion-related benefits they offer. Disney, along with Netflix, Paramount, Comcast and numerous other corporations, told employees it would cover travel expenses for employees who travelled out of state for abortions in light of the Supreme Court overturning Roe.

Netflix is offering up to $10,000 in abortion-related travel reimbursements for employees and their dependents, and many other companies have offered to cover travel costs for abortions in light of new state-level restrictions including American Airlines, Walmart, Comcast, Microsoft and Facebook.

“Please know that our company remains committed to removing barriers and providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all of our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live,” Disney told employees in an internal email. “In fact, we have processes in place so that an employee who may be unable to access care in one location has affordable coverage for receiving similar levels of care in another location.”

Hulu and Disney did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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