June 27, 2023

Kirstin Muller Quoted in Law360 on Dobbs Ruling One Year Later

Hirschfeld Kraemer partner, Kirstin Muller, was quoted in the June 22, 2023 edition of Law360, in an article entitled “A Year After Dobbs, GCs Are Trying To Maintain ‘Status Quo’” (subscription required).

One year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion, wreaking havoc with federal protections for women’s rights. Since that time, legal experts say that general counsel and their teams have been working to maintain the supportive policies and practices their organizations had in place before the ruling, without drawing media attention or courting controversy.

Muller told Law360: “I think we’re beyond the point where organizations and general counsel are making a decision about, Do they need to make a public statement? Do they need to make a statement to clients? Do they need to make a statement to employees? Now instead, they are focused on the one-off, case-by-case, supporting individual employees through their practices, as opposed to doing through very public printed policies.”

Since the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, some in-house clients are still looking for answers in how best to advise their organizations based on legal risks, employee reactions, and public reputation. “For many of our clients, they have worked hard to maintain the status quo,” Muller said. “Whatever internal decisions they made pre-Dobbs about the types of benefits and insurance they were going to provide, they are trying to maintain post-Dobbs, without necessarily bringing a spotlight onto their organizations.”

When addressing potential issues like whether an organization’s insurance companies would cover related costs for an employee traveling out of state where they could legally obtain an abortion, Muller recommended that general counsel consider each employee’s situation and the state and local laws that apply to that individual scenario.

You can read the full article here (Law360 subscription required).

Kirstin Muller is a partner in Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP’s Santa Monica office. You can reach her at (310) 255-0705 or kmuller@hkemploymentlaw.com.