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Salesforce offers to relocate employees and their families from Texas as abortion law takes effect

Salesforce offers to relocate employees and their families from Texas as abortion law takes effect

"If you have concerns about access to reproductive healthcare in your state, Salesforce will help relocate you and members of your immediate family."

The cloud-based software giant Salesforce told its entire workforce in a Slack message on Friday that if any employee and their family are concerned about being able to access reproductive care, the company will help them relocate. The assurance comes in the wake of Texas' new aggressive anti-abortion law which bans doctors from performing or inducing abortions after about six weeks, which is before a lot of people know that they're pregnant. The law also allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone else who helps a person obtain an abortion, including those who give them a ride to a clinic or provide financial assistance to obtain an abortion. 



 

 

"These are incredibly personal issues that directly impact many of us — especially women," Salesforce told employees in a message obtained by CNBC. "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. 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." Although Salesforce—which is headquartered in California—did not explicitly mention Texas in its message, given how about 2,000 of its 56,000 global workers are based in the state, the implication was clear.



 


CEO Marc Benioff later reiterated the promised by sharing an article about the company's assurance on
Twitter and writing: "Ohana if you want to move we'll help you exit TX. Your choice." The move comes as Texas-based tech workers and industry leaders reconsider their options as the state veers further and further right. Valerie Veteto—a copywriter who has freelanced for San-Francisco tech companies including Salesforce, Patreon, and Lyft—told The Washington Post that she is now planning to relocate to New York City despite having moved to Austin just a year ago. 



 

 

Veteto, who moved to Austin from San Francisco in September 2020 after being drawn by the city's vibe, creativity, live music scene, and the low cost of living, explained that she first began questioning her choice when Texas's power grid failed during a winter storm. "That was a moment that chipped away at my confidence of living here. Then obviously what's going on currently, it sealed the deal," she said. David Panarelli, a user experience designer for an e-commerce company in San Diego, also has concerns about moving to Texas in light of how officials have handled issues like immigration, the pandemic, and masking guidelines.



 



 

 

"If I'm in a situation where I have to make an extremely irreversible decision, I don't want anyone making that decision for me," he said. "It's not about women. It's about human rights." Meanwhile, some companies have taken similar measures as that proposed by Salesforce. Just two days after the draconian Texas law came into effect, Vivek Bhaskaran, the chief executive of Austin-based online survey software company QuestionPro, quickly put together a virtual town hall for the handful of female employees based in the city. During the meeting, he assured them that regardless of insurance, the company would cover out-of-state abortion services.



 

 

"I'm not a politician; I can't change anything. But I'm still responsible for my employees in Texas, and I have a moral responsibility to them," he said. Similarly, the Dallas-based company Match—which operates dating apps—is putting together a fund to help cover the cost of abortion services for employees who have to travel outside of the state. "I immigrated to America from India over 25 years ago and I have to say, as a Texas resident, I am shocked that I now live in a state where women's reproductive laws are more regressive than most of the world, including India," CEO Shar Dubey said in a memo to employees earlier this month. "Surely everyone should see the danger of this highly punitive and unfair law."

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