Employees at Facebook owner Meta are being prevented from discussing abortion at work, according to a report from The Verge.
The social-media-turned-metaverse company — which continues to expand its games industry footprint by exploring the world of AR and VR through its Reality Labs division — is reportedly prohibiting staff from talking about abortion on Workplace, an internal version of Facebook used by staff.
Meta has apparently enforced the policy since 2019 to stop 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.”
Although the policy isn’t new, Meta has seemingly reiterated its stance after a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion indicated Roe v. Wade could be overturned, potentially allowing some states to immediately ban access to abortion.
The Verge says it has obtained a recording of a recent Meta all-hands meeting in which the company’s VP of HR, Janelle Gale, told staff that abortion is the “the most divisive and reported topic” by employees using Workplace.
Gale added that “even if people are respectful” when discussing the topic “it can still leave people feeling like they’re being targeted based on their gender or religion.”
“It’s the one unique topic that kind of trips that line on a protected class pretty much in every instance,” continued Gale.
Meta ultimately believes allowing workers to discuss abortion will increase the risk of the company being viewed as a “hostile work environment.”
Instead of talking about abortion openly, employees are reportedly being told to discuss the topic “with a trusted colleague in a private setting” or a in a “small group of up to five like-min dev people to show solidarity.” That’s according to an internal post uploaded by company exec Naomi Gleit, which was seen by The Verge.
Despite that stance, Meta will still offer its workforce access to reproductive healthcare in the United States regardless of where they live.