Salesforce offers to help staff leave Texas as abortion law takes effect

Software company sends message to workforce addressing access to reproductive healthcare

The cloud-based software giant Salesforce is offering to help relocate employees out of Texas following the state’s enactment of its extreme new abortion law.

Referring to the “incredibly personal issues” that the law creates, a message to the company’s entire workforce sent late on Friday said any employee and their family wishing to move elsewhere would receive assistance.

“Ohana if you want to move we’ll help you exit TX. Your choice,” the Salesforce chief executive, Marc Benioff, said in a tweet featuring a CNBC article about the offer, and using a term common in Hawaii for “family”.

In a separate message to workers, Salesforce, which is headquartered in California, did not directly mention Texas – where about 2,000 of its 56,000 global workers are based – or take a stance on the law. But its intention was clear.

“These are incredibly personal issues that directly impact many of us – especially women,” it said.

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

The company’s offer appears to be part of a growing corporate backlash against the Texas law, which took effect on 1 September when the US supreme court refused to block it.

On Thursday, the US attorney general, Merrick Garland, announced that the justice department was suing Texas over the “unconstitutional” law that bans abortions after the detection of embryonic cardiac activity, at around six weeks, and allows private citizens to pursue legal action against anybody who assists a woman in getting an abortion.

The ride-share companies Lyft and Uber have both said they will pay the legal costs of any drivers sued for transporting women to or from procedures. Meanwhile, Match Group, which owns the dating app Tinder, and its rival Bumble, which is also based in Texas, have set up funds for employees seeking abortions out of state.

“The company generally does not take political stands unless it is relevant to our business. But in this instance, I personally, as a woman in Texas, could not keep silent,” the Match chief executive, Shar Dubey, said in a memo to workers.

Salesforce, which was founded in 1999 by the former Oracle executive Benioff and partners as one of the first web-based software service providers, has a reputation for looking after its workers. In 2020 it was ranked in the top 10 US companies for employee satisfaction in a Forbes survey.

It also has a history of involvement in politics. In 2015, Benioff said Salesforce was “dramatically reducing” its investment in Indiana in protest against a religious freedom law that critics said promoted discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.

The state’s then governor and later US vice-president, Mike Pence, was forced to sign a “clarification” to the law after a fierce backlash from companies and gay rights activists.


Richard Luscombe

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Most extreme abortion law in US takes effect in Texas
US supreme court fails to act to block near-total ban that allows private citizens to sue abortion providers

Mary Tuma

02, Sep, 2021 @1:58 AM

Article image
Texas abortion providers ask supreme court to halt unprecedented abortion law
Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood turn to justices in final bid to block near-total ban

Mary Tuma

30, Aug, 2021 @8:05 PM

Article image
‘People were excited’: Paxton Smith on her valedictorian speech for abortion rights
Texas 18-year-old says it was ‘scary to take a stand’ amid controversy – but speech has received rave reviews

Alexandra Villarreal

05, Jun, 2021 @10:00 AM

Article image
Democrats rush to find strategy to counter Texas abortion law
Biden administration’s options are limited and filibuster poses roadblock to federal legislation

Hugo Lowell

03, Sep, 2021 @6:00 AM

Article image
Democrats condemn supreme court for failing to block Texas abortion law
Critics denounce law as unconstitutional and a threat to women’s health

Maya Yang

01, Sep, 2021 @7:46 PM

Article image
New Texas law bans abortion-inducing drugs after seven weeks pregnancy
Governor Greg Abbott’s actions sparked outrage from reproductive rights advocates in a state that recently passed another restrictive bill

Melody Schreiber

22, Sep, 2021 @9:00 AM

Article image
Clinton hails Texas abortion decision as 'victory for women', Trump stays silent
A woman’s control over her body will be a defining issue for female voters in November, Planned Parenthood says after landmark supreme court ruling

Lauren Gambino

27, Jun, 2016 @11:50 PM

Article image
‘Roe v Wade is a husk’: anguish and anger in Texas after abortion ruling
Climate of fear descends on state for clinic workers, patients and others after the supreme court’s conservative majority decision on Wednesday

Jessica Glenza

04, Sep, 2021 @6:00 AM

Article image
Women can say no to sex if Roe falls, says architect of Texas abortion ban
Jonathan Mitchell writes in supreme court brief that ‘women can “control their reproductive lives” without access to abortion’

Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Jessica Glenza

17, Sep, 2021 @3:16 PM

Article image
The tiny American towns passing anti-abortion rules
In the last year, 23 Texas towns have declared themselves ‘sanctuary cities for the unborn’, making the procedure punishable, and in April, a Nebraska village became the 24th

Jessica Glenza

27, Apr, 2021 @6:00 AM