In a Slack message on Friday, Salesforce told their employees that if they and their families are concerned about the ability to access reproductive care in the wake of Texas’ restrictive new abortion law, the company will help them relocate.
The case in Texas and another one the high court will consider from Mississippi this year have the same goal, experts say: gutting or overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationally.
Texas Senate Bill 8 became law in May and took into effect this month. The law says doctors cannot perform or induce abortions if they have “detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child,” except in medical emergencies. Additionally, ordinary citizens can file lawsuits against those who aid or abet abortions after the detection of a heartbeat.
“These are incredibly personal issues that directly impact many of us — especially women,” Salesforce said to its employees in the message, which CNBC obtained. The company did not take a stance on the law. “We recognize and respect that we all have deeply held and different perspectives. As a company, we stand with all of our women at Salesforce and everywhere.”
The note continues, “With that being said, if you have concerns about access to reproductive healthcare in your state, Salesforce will help relocate you and members of your immediate family.”
CEO Marc Benioff tweeted this story out after it was first published and said, “Ohana if you want to move we’ll help you exit TX. Your choice.” Ohana is a Hawaiian term that means family.
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The move from Salesforce comes along with the consideration that many employees have been reassessing their lifestyles and considering new and different opportunities especially at the height of the pandemic. Benioff already said in June that he expects more than half the company’s employees to work from home most or all of the time.
Salesforce has previously waded into political issues in states where it operates. Benioff said in 2015 that the company was being “forced to dramatically reduce our investment” in Indiana because customers and employees were unhappy about the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Critics worried that the law would allow businesses to deny services to LGBTQ people on religious grounds.
The tech industry has kept generally quiet about the Texas abortion law. However, Lyft and Uber both announced that they would pay legal costs for any drivers who are sued for transporting women to get abortions, and online dating company Bumble said it had started a fund to help people seeking abortions in the state.