Salesforce offers to help employees walk away from restrictive Texas abortion law

Salesforce told thousands of employees in a Slack message on Friday that while they and their families were concerned about being able to access reproductive care as a result of Texas’ restrictive new abortion law, the company would help them move.

Texas Senate Bill 8 became law in May and came into effect earlier this month. Doctors are prohibited by law from performing or inducing abortions if they have “detected a fetal heartbeat in the unborn child”, except in a medical emergency. In addition, ordinary citizens can sue those who help or encourage abortions after a heartbeat is detected.

The United States Supreme Court refused to block the law, and on Thursday the Department of Justice sued Texas.

“These are incredibly personal issues that directly impact a lot of us, especially women,” Salesforce told employees in the post, which CNBC obtained. The company has not taken a position on the law. “We recognize and respect that we all have deeply held and different perspectives. As a company, we’re with all of our women at Salesforce and everywhere.

The note continues: “That being said, if you have any concerns about accessing reproductive health care in your state, Salesforce will help relocate you and your immediate family members.”

CEO Marc Benioff tweeted this story after it was first posted and said, “Ohana, if you want to move, we’ll help you get out of Texas. Your choice. ”Ohana is a Hawaiian term meaning family.

The move comes as many workers in the tech industry reassess their lifestyles and consider new opportunities due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has isolated workers from their colleagues. Benioff said in June that he expects more than half of the company’s employees to work from home most or all of the time.

The tech industry has generally been silent about Texas abortion law. However, Lyft and Uber have both announced that they will pay court costs for any driver sued for transporting women for abortion, and online dating company Bumble said it has started a fund to help women. people seeking abortions in the state.

Salesforce has already looked at political issues in the states where it operates. Benioff said in 2015 that the company was “forced to drastically reduce our investment” in Indiana because customers and employees were unhappy with the state’s law on restoring religious freedom. Critics feared the law would allow companies to deny services to LGBTQ people on religious grounds.

Benioff said the company was canceling programs that required customers and employees to travel to the state.

Salesforce has a big presence in Indiana because that’s where ExactTarget is located, which Salesforce acquired for $ 2.5 billion in 2013. Salesforce subsequently announced an expansion in the state following changes to the law, the Associated Press reported.

On its website, Salesforce lists Dallas, Texas as one of its 16 locations in the United States, alongside Indianapolis and its headquarters in San Francisco. According to LinkedIn profiles, approximately 2,000 people work in Dallas. The company has more than 56,000 employees worldwide.

Christine Wang, CNBC and Kevin Breuninger, CNBC contributed.

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