The social media company said talking about abortion could create a “hostile work environment.”
Meta reportedly told employees they couldn’t talk about abortion at Workplace, Facebook’s in-house version, because it could create a “hostile work environment.”
This policy, which allegedly came into effect in 2019 but has just come to light, prevents employees from “expressing or discussing opinions about the right or wrong of abortion, the availability of abortion, or abortion rights, and political, religious, and humanitarian views on the issue,” according to part of the company’s internal “Respectful Communication Policy,” first reported by The Verge.
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In a recording obtained by The Verge of a public meeting with Meta employees known as “Metamates,” Janelle Gale, Meta’s vice president of human resources, said that abortion was “the most divisive and most reported issue” by employees at Workplace, “causing people to feel that they are being targeted based on their gender or religion, even when people are respectful and try to be respectful in their views about abortion. maybe”.
According to the report, Gale added:
“This is a unique issue that crosses the line of the protected group almost every time.”
Recently, there were reports that the U.S. Supreme Court was preparing to pass a ruling that could end decades of constitutional protection for abortion services and trigger a wave of laws that would make abortion illegal in about half of the U.S.
Meta executive Sheryl Sandberg called abortion “one of our most fundamental rights” on her public Facebook page.
“Every woman, no matter where she lives, should be free to decide whether and when she will become a mother,” Sandberg wrote.
“This is one of the most important things for women’s health and equality.”
But Meta was taking a different approach internally. Meta’s product manager, Naomi Gleit, allegedly wrote in Workplace:
“There’s a lot of sensitivity about this in the workplace, which makes it difficult to address the issue in Workplace.”
Gleit reportedly said that employees can only discuss abortion in the workplace “in a private setting (e.g. live, chat, etc.) with a trusted co-worker” and “in a listening session with a small group of like-minded people of up to 5 people to show solidarity.”
However, Gleit said employees can use Meta’s social apps like Instagram and Facebook to share their personal opinions, and that Meta “will continue to offer its employees access to reproductive health services in the U.S., regardless of where they live.”
Meta did not respond to The Independent’s request for comment before the story went live.