Meta Tells Its Employees Not To Talk About Abortion

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Illustration shows small figurines and displayed Meta logo
Small figurines are seen in front of displayed Meta logo in this illustration taken February 11, 2022.

On Thursday, Meta's Vice President of Human Resources, Janelle Gale, reminded employees they cannot discuss abortion in the workplace. The executive fears those discussions could contribute to a toxic culture.

The Verge first reported the news, also mentioning that Meta did not recently create the policy. It began in 2019 and sits under its "Respectful Communication Policy" guidelines. 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 cannot discuss "opinions or debate about abortion being right or wrong." They also cannot discuss "availability or rights of abortion, and political, religious, and humanitarian views on the topic."

Gale's comments acknowledged that the debate is "the most divisive and reported topic" among Meta employees.

"Even if people are respectful, and they’re attempting to be respectful about their view on abortion, it can still leave people feeling like they’re being targeted based on their gender or religion," Gale added.

She also said that abortion is a "unique topic that kind of trips that line on a protected class pretty much in every instance."

According to the Verge, while some employees like the policy, other employees reported feeling upset by it. One employee reported she felt a "strong sense of silence and isolation" because of the company's approach.

The comments come amid the leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's majority draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The overturning of both precedents risks setting off total bans in over half of the U.S. states.

After the leak, some big companies reassured employees that, in terms of healthcare, they would remain protected. Meta stayed quiet about the debate, instead repeatedly reminding its employees to observe its policy regarding politically and personally sensitive topics.


Meta chief and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has retained control of the company even after taking it public a decade ago, when it was known as Facebook.
Meta chief and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has retained control of the company even after taking it public a decade ago, when it was known as Facebook.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA via AFP / Kevin Dietsch

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