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Proposed law shields businesses from out-of-state abortion claims

Washington State employers will receive tools against retaliation from states with anti-abortion laws if a bill presented in the Senate is passed.

Senate Bill 5260, by Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, is one of five reproductive rights bills presented to the Senate on Jan. 24.

“I thought perhaps Washington State should try and create a safe harbor for the companies in our state who are trying to help their employees in anti-abortion states,” Keiser said.

Keiser said she worked on SB 5260 because she has seen states like Florida and Texas who threatened retaliation against companies who offered reimbursement for travel costs to employees who sought out-of-state abortion services.

SB 5260 would allow employers in Washington to recover damages and costs associated with an out-of-state judgment where liability is based on providing assistance for reproductive care services. An employer would be allowed to file a civil action against a retaliating party to recover damages, costs and other equitable relief.

Until Jan. 1, 2033, the bill would provide a public utility or business and occupation tax credit for charitable contributions made to certain organizations providing reproductive healthcare services.

 
 
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