On Thursday, Meta Human Resources Vice President Janelle Gale reminded employees that they can’t talk about abortion in the workplace. The executive fears such discussions could contribute to a toxic culture.
The Verge was the first to report the news and also mentioned that Meta did not create the policy recently. It started in 2019 and falls under the guidelines of their “Respectful Communication Policy”. The policy also governs employee discussions about Black Lives Matter, immigration and transgender rights.
In the abortion section of the policy, it states that employees may not discuss “opinions or debates about whether abortion is right or wrong.” They also cannot discuss “the availability or rights of abortion, and the political, religious, and humanitarian views on the subject.”
Gale’s comments acknowledged that the debate is “the most divisive and reported topic” among Meta employees.
“Even if people are respectful and try to be respectful of their views on abortion, it can still make people feel like they’re being targeted based on their gender or religion,” Gale added.
He also said that abortion is a “unique issue that ranks in a protected class in virtually every case.”
According to The Verge, while some employees like the policy, other employees reported feeling annoyed by it. One employee reported that she felt a “strong sense of silence and isolation” due to the company’s approach.
The comments come amid the leaking of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft majority opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Overturning both precedents risks triggering outright bans in more than half of US states.
After the leak, some large companies assured employees that, in terms of health care, they would remain protected. Meta remained silent on the debate, instead repeatedly reminding her employees to observe her policy regarding politically and personally sensitive issues.