Fiona Cicconi, Google’s chief people officer, sent an email to all team members informing them of the firm’s response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on Friday. The email stresses that Google employees can “ask for relocation without justification” and those responsible for the relocation process “shall be aware of the circumstances” in evaluating their requests, among other things. Google notified employees that, of 10,000 requests for remote work or relocation during the past months, 85% had been approved in an email last August, as reported by Bloomberg.
The Supreme Court’s decision does not outlaw abortion nationwide; rather, it gives state governments the discretion to decide whether to do so. Louisiana, Missouri, Kentucky, and other states have all instantly curtailed access to abortion. Other states have committed to defending abortion rights within their boundaries, notably California, the home of Google.
There are 29 Google office locations in the United States, including four states — Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Wisconsin — where abortion is currently prohibited or is shortly to be prohibited by law. According to the New York Times, once Roe v. Wade was overturned, roughly half of the states in the United States are anticipated to restrict access to abortion. California, which upholds abortion rights, is home to a sizable portion of Google’s American employees.
Here is the complete letter:
This morning the US Supreme Court issued a ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that rolls back Roe v. Wade.
This is a profound change for the country that deeply affects so many of us, especially women. Everyone will respond in their own way, whether that’s wanting space and time to process, speaking up, volunteering outside of work, not wanting to discuss it at all, or something else entirely. Please be mindful of what your co-workers may be feeling and, as always, treat each other with respect.
Equity is extraordinarily important to us as a company, and we share concerns about the impact this ruling will have on people’s health, lives, and careers. We will keep working to make information on reproductive healthcare accessible across our products and continue our work to protect user privacy.
To support Googlers and their dependents, our US benefits plan and health insurance covers out-of-state medical procedures that are not available where an employee lives and works. Googlers can also apply for relocation without justification, and those overseeing this process will be aware of the situation. If you need additional support, please connect 1:1 with a People Consultant via [link to internal tool redacted].
We will be arranging support sessions for Googlers in the US in the coming days. These will be posted to Googler News.
Please don’t hesitate to lean on your Google community in the days ahead and continue to take good care of yourselves and each other.
The Verge has reached out to Google to clarify whether anything about the relocation policy has changed specifically due to the Supreme Court’s decision. We will update this story if there are any additional details.