Indeed offers trans employees $10,000 to help relocate to safer states
Job search platform Indeed has launched a new $10,000 payment scheme for their transgender employees to help them relocate to safer areas in the United States.
As the US grows more divisive about transgender rights and healthcare, with certain states passing laws and policies that severely impact the lives of LGBTQ+ people, certain groups and corporations are starting to push back.
Although Indeed Inc. announced the initiative to assist transgender employees back in July, it is only now being made public, Bloomberg reports.
The initiative will offer any trans workers or workers who have trans relatives in their immediate family, a payment of $10,000 to help them escape to states that still offer gender-affirming care and are generally more welcoming to those who might be seeking it.
One employee, Sam Burger, told the publication that they made use of the initiative as soon as it was announced by Indeed Inc.
Burger, 30, who uses they/them pronouns, and works at the company as a senior content creator, decided to use the funding to leave their hometown of Austin, Texas, and relocate to Denver, Colorado.
“As soon as I found out that I was getting the money, it was very much like a weight lifted,” Burger shared with Bloomberg.
Since moving to Denver with their dog and two cats, Burger has reported feeling much more welcome, and says they have found local medical services far more accommodating than those at home in Austin.
They plan to pursue gender-affirming surgery and hormone therapy soon, they added.
Burger is one of the few employees who has taken part in the scheme so far. Other LGBTQ+ workers, particularly those living in Texas and Florida, have reported feeling uneasy about their future in those states.
Indeed’s VP of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, Misty Gaither explained that the company has been working with a business resource group for LGBTQ+ workers to figure out how best to respond to the growing number of states that are passing laws to restrict LGBTQ+ healthcare.
A survey conducted by Indeed earlier this year found that 62 per cent of transgender people feel pressure to manage their identity at work, while 38 per cent felt pressure to hide their identity altogether.
Meanwhile, 57 per cent felt it was important for their employer to offer LGBTQ+-specific benefits, but only 23 per cent reported actually having such benefits at their current employment.
By offering concerned employees a $10,000 payment, the company is matching its $10,000 annual limit for reimbursement for employee travel outside of the state for medical care.
Any tax liability created by the payment, which is considered income, will be covered by Indeed Inc, Gaither said.
The company, whose HQ is based in Texas, is aware that this new scheme could likely face some backlash from the public, stakeholders, or state officials.
But Indeed seems ready to handle whatever wrath might come their way.
And they aren’t the only company that’s putting in the work for their transgender employees.
While Intuit is offering a similar relocation payment scheme to its employees, Netflix and Amazon will reimburse employees up to $10,000 in travel expenses to receive healthcare out of state.
Starbucks offers to cover gender-affirming care for trans employees and to help them find appropriate healthcare providers, and Meta wants to help employees and their dependents access gender-affirming care through their employee benefits package.
It’s a small start, but these benefits can be utterly life-changing – and often life-saving – for LGBTQ+ employees. Let’s hope the wave only gets bigger.
As Denver resident Sam Burger puts it: “Folks want to work at a company that they perceive is taking care of employees.”
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