Marc Benioff, President and CEO of Salesforce.com, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on January 23, 2020.
Adam Galica | CNBC
Salesforce said in a Slack message Friday to thousands of employees that if they and their families are concerned about access to reproductive care as a result of Texas’ aggressive anti-abortion law, the company will help them to move.
Texas Senate Bill 8 became law in May and went into effect earlier this month. The law says doctors cannot practice or induce abortions if they have detected “fetal heartbeats in the unborn child,” except in cases of medical emergency. In addition, ordinary citizens can file lawsuits against those who help or encourage abortion after a heartbeat is detected.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to block the law and on Thursday the Justice Department sued Texas for the law.
“These are incredibly personal issues that directly affect many of us, especially women,” Salesforce told employees in the message, which was obtained by CNBC. The company did not take any position on the law. “We recognize and respect that we all have deep and different perspectives. As a company, we stand by all of our women at Salesforce and everywhere.”
The note continues, “That said, if you have questions about access to reproductive health care in your state, Salesforce will help you relocate and your closest family members.”
A Salesforce spokesman declined to comment.
The move comes as many employees in the tech industry are reviewing their lifestyles and considering new opportunities due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has kept workers isolated from colleagues. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in June that he expects more than half of the company’s employees to work from home most or most of the time.
The technology industry has generally remained silent about Texas abortion law. However, Lyft and Uber announced they would pay legal fees for any driver who is sued for transporting women to abortion, and online dating company Bumble said it had started a fund to help people who seek abortions in the state.
Salesforce has previously engaged in 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 not satisfied with the state’s Restoration of Religious Freedom Act. Critics were concerned that the law would allow companies to deny services to LGBTQ people on religious grounds.
Benioff said the company was canceling programs that forced customers and employees to travel to the state.
Salesforce has a large presence in Indiana because it is home to ExactTarget, which Salesforce acquired for $ 2.5 billion in 2013. Salesforce later announced an expansion into the state following changes in the law, the Associated Press reported.
On its website, Salesforce lists Dallas, Texas, as one of the 16 locations in the United States, next to Indianapolis and the San Francisco headquarters. According to LinkedIn profiles, about 2,000 people work in Dallas. The company has more than 56,000 employees worldwide.
– CNBC’s Christine Wang and Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.
I’LL SEE: Uber continues to lead Lyft and will cover the legal fees of drivers according to Texas SB8