Cloud-based software giant Salesforce has told its thousands of employees that it will help relocate them from Texas if they are concerned about obtaining reproductive health care in the wake of the state’s draconian new anti-abortion law.
“As a company, we stand with all of our women at Salesforce and everywhere,” read a Slack message to workers on Friday obtained by CNBC.
The company, headquartered in San Francisco, did not take a specific position on the most restrictive law in the nation, which criminalizes abortions at about six weeks — before most people even realize they’re pregnant.
But the statement noted: “These are incredibly personal issues that directly impact many of us — especially women ... 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.”
Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff later tweeted a link to the CNBC story and added: “Ohana if you want to move we’ll help you exit TX. Your choice.” Ohana is a Hawaiian word meaning family.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) fired back: “Welcome to California.”
About 2,000 people work at Salesforce’s Dallas location, which is one of its 16 operations. Salesforce has some 56,000 employees worldwide.
Benioff announced in 2015 that Salesforce was “dramatically” reducing its investment in Indiana because of the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which customers and workers feared would allow businesses to deny services to LGBTQ people. However, Salesforce boosted its investment in the state the following year after then-Gov. Mike Pence (R) was forced to sign a clarification prohibiting such discrimination.
Salesforce is the latest company to take action over the Texas law. The CEO of the Dallas-based dating app company Match, which also owns Tinder, is establishing a fund for Texas workers who need to leave the state for abortions. And Austin-based dating app Bumble is funding six organizations fighting for reproductive rights and helping women.
In addition, ride-hailing companies Lyft and Uber have pledged to cover the legal expenses of any drivers who get caught up in the Texas law for taking people to abortion clinics. Under the new law, anti-abortion vigilantes can collect a bounty of $10,000 if they successfully sue anyone who “aids or abets” abortion care, including drivers.
Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott (R) claimed in an interview last week that the state’s right-wing policies attract business owners to Texas, though it wasn’t clear if he was including female business owners.
A Forbes poll found that two-thirds of college-educated workers would not live in a state with such a restrictive anti-abortion law.