Meta Limits at-Work Abortion Debate to 5 Like-Minded People: Report

  • Meta execs have been telling staff how they’re expected to discuss abortion at work, The Verge reports.
  • They’re banned from discussing abortion on the company’s internal messaging system, per The Verge.
  • They’ve also been told not to discuss abortion in groups larger than five, The Verge says.

Meta has told employees they can only discuss abortion at work with a single “trusted” colleague in a private setting, or in a “listening session” with up to five “like-minded” people, The Verge reported.

The directive, from Naomi Gleit, Meta’s head of product, came days after a leaked draft opinion showed the US Supreme Court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, a decision which could lead to 23 US states quickly criminalizing abortion.

In an internal post seen by The Verge, Gleit told employees not to discuss abortion at work unless they were “with a trusted colleague in a private setting (e.g. live, chat, etc.)” or in a “listening session with a small group of up to 5 like-minded people to show solidarity.”

At an all-hands meeting Thursday, Janelle Gale, Meta’s vice president of HR, reminded staff about a policy restricting how much they can talk about abortion at work, and that they can’t discuss abortion on Workplace, the company’s internal communication system, The Verge said.

Meta’s “respectful communication” policy dates back to 2019, according to The Verge, but came to the fore after the leaked Roe opinion was published. The policy prohibits staff 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,” per The Verge.

In a recording obtained by The Verge, Gale told employees at the all-hands that “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. It’s the one unique topic that kind of trips that line on a protected class pretty much in every instance.”

The Verge reported some Meta employees asked the company to get rid of the respectful communication policy, believing it inconsistent with other policies that allow them to discuss social issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement, immigration, and trans rights.

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