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Meta employees can’t discuss abortion at work as it may lead to ‘hostile’ environment: Report

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Meta employees can’t discuss abortion at work as it may lead to ‘hostile’ environment: Report


Employees at Meta cannot discuss the subject of abortion as people may feel targeted, a company executive said in a meeting on Thursday, according to a report.

Meta employees can’t discuss abortion at work as it may lead to ‘hostile’ environment: Report
Employees at Meta are “prohibited” from talking about abortion as it is a subject that can lead people to feel targeted, and the firm may be seen as a “hostile work environment”, a company executive said on Thursday, according to a report.
Meta’s VP of HR, Janelle Gale, said abortion was “the most divisive and reported topic” by employees on Workplace, an internal version of Facebook, The Verge report claimed.
During a meeting with the entire staff, she said, “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,” according to a recording cited by the tech media outlet.
Gale’s remarks came against the backdrop of a section in the Respectful Communication Policy, seen by The Verge, that Meta implemented in 2019 banning employees from discussing “opinions or debates about abortion being right or wrong, availability or rights of abortion, and political, religious, and humanitarian views on the topic.”
Employees seem divided on the policy, with some having called on the management to drop it as it’s contradictory to the social media firm allowing them to talk “respectfully” about issues like Black Lives Matter, immigration, and trans rights.
In an internal post this month titled “Support & Silence”, a female employee who has served Meta for the past 10 years expressed that the policy made her feel a “strong sense of silence and isolation on the Workplace.” She said an earlier version of her post had been taken down and the new version had “much of the content removed,” the report added.
CNBCTV18.com wrote to Meta but was yet to get a response when filing this story.
After Politico published a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion seeking to overturn abortion rights at a federal level, Meta’s chief operation officer Sheryl Sandberg took to her Facebook page to say abortion was “one of our most fundamental rights” and that every woman must be free to choose.
However, talks on the subject internally at the company were delayed, The Verge reported.
The day after Sandberg’s public comments, Meta’s vice-president of social good, growth, engagement, and identity Naomi Gleit, in an internal post, reportedly explained the reasons for restrictions.
“At work, there are many sensitivities around this topic, which makes it difficult to discuss on Workplace,” she wrote and encouraged staff to only discuss abortion at work “with a trusted colleague in a private setting (e.g. live, chat, etc.)” and in a “listening session with a small group of up to 5 like-minded people to show solidarity.” Employees can Meta’s social apps to share their views in their personal capacity, she added.
Meanwhile, according to a leaked initial draft majority opinion published by Politico earlier this month, the US Supreme Court looks set to vote to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalised abortion nationwide. The court is expected to issue a decision in the case by the end of the term at the end of June, reports said.
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