Meta’s chief executive told employees on Thursday that they were banned from talking about abortion on Workplace, an internal version of Facebook, citing “increased risk” that the company was seen as a “hostile work environment”.

The policy that Meta introduced in 2019, but has not been reported so far, prohibits employees from discussing “opinions or debates on whether or not to have an abortion, the existence or rights of abortion, and political, religious and humanitarian views on the subject.” section of the company’s internal “Respectful Communication Policy”, seen by On the edge. Some officials have called on the leadership to abolish the policy after the expiration of a draft opinion of the Supreme Court, which will cancel Rowe vs. Wadearguing that the ban contradicts the fact that employees can speak “respectfully” on issues such as the Black Lives Matter, immigration and trans rights.

During a joint meeting with employees on Thursday, Meta’s vice president of human resources, Janelle Gale, said abortion was “the most divisive and reported topic” by Workplace employees. She said that “even if people show respect and try to respect their view of abortion, it can still make people feel like they are being targeted based on their gender or religion,” according to her commentary. received by On the edge. “This is the only unique theme that goes around this line in the protection class in almost every case.”

A Meta spokesman had no comment on the story until the time of the press.

Most large companies have not yet made clear their stance on abortion bans, although several have opposed it. Amazon and Tesla said they would cover some of the costs of pregnant women who have to travel for an abortion, and Salesforce told employees in September that it would help them with relocation costs if they wanted to leave Texas because of the abortion ban. Lyft and Uber have promised to cover legal bills for drivers who are prosecuted under state driving laws for an abortion seeker. One of the strongest positions is from Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, who argues in op-ed that “companies need to take a stand on reproductive rights”.

After Politico published The Supreme Court’s expired draft opinion seeking to repeal federal abortion rights, Meta’s second executive director, Cheryl Sandberg, called abortion “one of our most fundamental rights” for her. public facebook page. “Every woman, no matter where she lives, should be free to choose whether and when to become a mother,” she wrote. “Some things are more important for women’s health and equality.”

But Meta continued to push back internal discussions about abortion soon after. A day after Sandberg’s public comments, one of Meta’s top executives, Naomi Glate, wrote in an internal post seen by On the edge explains why the company has placed restrictions on discussing abortion. “There are many sensitive points in the workplace around this topic, which makes it difficult to discuss in the workplace,” Glate wrote. She said that employees were only allowed to discuss abortion at work “with a trusted colleague in a private setting (eg live, chat, etc.)” and in a listening session with a small group of up to 5 like-minded people. show solidarity. “She encouraged employees to use Meta’s social apps to share their views in a personal way, and that the company” will continue to offer our employees access to reproductive health care in the United States, no matter where they live. “

The policy of banning abortion discussions has caused division among staff in recent weeks, with some supporting it and others sharing frustration with the removal of posts on the subject, according to screenshots of workplace posts and comments seen by On the edge. During a joint meeting led by Sandberg, Gale and other CEOs on Thursday, several policy comments were posted by live stream officials and removed as the meeting progressed.

An internal publication earlier this month entitled “Support and Silence”, an employee who has been with the company for 10 years, wrote that the policy made her feel “strong in silence and isolation in the workplace”. She wrote that an earlier version of her post had been removed and that the new version had “removed much of the content”.

“The same policy explicitly allows us to discuss such sensitive issues and movements, including immigration, trans rights, climate change, black life is important, gun rights / gun control and vaccination,” she wrote. “The argument why our policy treats an issue quite differently from other sensitive issues seems fragile and unconvincing to me. The whole process of dealing with the policy of respectful communication, I was told why my publication violates and the creation of this new publication felt dehumanizing and anti-utopian. “

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