Companies are stuck between their workers and politicians

Then, last month, Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, took action that threatened to do so. derail that movement: Angry that Bob Chapek, the CEO of the Walt Disney Company, ruled against a Florida law called the Parental Rights in Education act or, by his critics, the “Don’t Say Gay” law, the governor he retaliated. In an extraordinary session of the Legislature, Mr. DeSantis rammed a bill to strip Disneyone of Florida’s largest private employers in the self-contained district he had operated near Orlando for 55 years.

and this week Politico released a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion showing the majority of judges voting to overturn Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 decision that made abortion a constitutional right in the United States. There is no problem in American politics more incendiary than abortion, and with some 60 to 70 percent of Americans In favor of keeping Roe, it appears there would be growing pressure on corporate executives to take a stand for the right to abortion.

In this case, however, there is likely to be compensatory pressure that will be difficult to ignore. Thirteen states have passed so-called trigger laws that will ban or reduce access to abortion almost immediately if Roe is overturned. Another dozen or so are set to follow the same path. Virtually all of these have been red, led by governors who no doubt saw what Mr. DeSantis did at Disney. In retrospect, following the example of employees in advocating for climate action, racial justice and the #MeToo movement was a no-brainer for companies compared to taking a public stance on abortion.

When the term “employee activism” began to gain popularity in the early 2010s, young workers – millennials usually with clerical jobs – led the charge. They were fed up with both corporate greed and corporate indifference to the issues they cared about. Millennials are now between the ages of 26 and 41 and represent a large proportion of corporate employees.

“Millennials are liberals, almost two to one over previous generations,” said Charlotte Alter, author of “The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For,” a book about the millennial generation. “They want to work for companies that align with their values. And they understand how much power they have in the system. They see their work as a lever they can pull. “