rebecca getting In June, when she heard that the U.S. Supreme Court had overturned Roe v WadeThe decision would trigger laws banning or restricting abortion in 13 states, including Texas, where she lives. Spooked by the news, employees at the Austin-based company argued, but persevered.
As time went on, Rebecca waited for Apple’s leadership to acknowledge the impact of the court decision on its employees, especially those who, like her, live in states poised to ban abortion. Restrictions on abortion not only limit a woman’s reproductive options, but can endanger the life of anyone who requires emergency medical care during pregnancy. She wants the company to also publicly condemn the Supreme Court decision. All she received was a mass email reminding employees their health plans covered out-of-state medical travel.
Weeks later, Rebecca heard nothing from Apple management until employees started calling for answers. But when Texas managers held “hearings” on abortion, they sometimes worrisomely shied away, she and other attendees told WIRED, and said company policy prohibits workers — even Those fearful of anti-abortion laws — switch to remote work or move to another state office. (Rebecca asked that her real name not be used for fear of losing her job.)
Apple is one of several large Silicon Valley companies to expand in or relocate to Texas in the past few years, rooted in a very different political terrain than California. Now, the company and its generally progressive-leaning employees are considering tighter restrictions and an outright ban on the spread of abortion.
In 2021, Texas lawmakers passed a law known as SB8 that would encourage residents to sue anyone who helps others obtain an abortion procedure, effectively banning abortions after six weeks. At the time, most Apple employees were working remotely.but when the time comes roe Down, further restricting abortion access in Texas, Apple is in the middle of a contentious back-to-office campaign. Meanwhile, a $1 billion campus in northwest Austin that could eventually accommodate 15,000 employees is still under rapid construction, the company said. Now, employees are hearing, anyone in the company’s Texas offices must choose between reproductive rights and a job if they don’t want to comply with the state’s laws. Those unable or unwilling to leave face a potential minefield of health care decisions.
Afterwards, many Americans faced similar or worse hurdles roe Overturned: The lowest-paid workers have the highest rates of unwanted pregnancies, and many lack health insurance. Many companies in tech and other industries have said nothing about the court’s ruling. But for some Apple employees drawn to the company’s previous outspoken support for progressive social issues such as gay and transgender rights, Apple’s silence on the issue has stung them.
“A lot of people join Apple because Apple is trying to make itself better,” Rebecca said. “The reaction, or lack of it, was a huge slap in the face.” Some Texas workers were frightened and dazed, unsure if they could be transferred out of the state or how protected they were by travel policies reliable. Some are even reluctant to ask managers about abortion, fearing reprisal from bosses who might support limiting access to such care.
At one Apple unit, some top managers in Texas agreed to hold hearings for employees to voice their concerns. They ranged in size from one-on-one meetings to group meetings with dozens of employees, according to Rebecca and two other attendees, who asked to remain anonymous and to allow WIRED to review their notes. “I think there’s enough rumours, within the organization, that they’re going to have to react at some point,” said one employee. “Obviously, it would be better if it was proactive.”