Apple's remote work policy makes it hard for employees to avoid abortion bans

Apple's facility under construction in Texas

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Apple employees seeking to avoid abortion bans reportedly need to apply for a new job at a different location, which has left some employees disgruntled and fearful.

Texas has become a center of political discussions thanks to right-leaning ideologies. On one hand, it is a tax haven for major corporations, on the other, it effectively banned abortions before Roe v Wade was overturned.

This dynamic has created a conundrum for Apple. The vocal CEO Tim Cook has openly advocated for many left-leaning issues like gay rights and trans rights, but a woman's right to abortion isn't a topic he's spoken up about often.

According to a story from Wired, employees have noticed this particular silence from Tim Cook and the company as a whole. The lack of an official condemnation of abortion bans or a statement about the overturn of Roe v Wade have left some employees rudderless.

When asked, Apple makes the same statement it has for years. It says that the company is committed to ensuring employees get the care they need, even if it means going to another state. Apple has previously addressed the situation in Texas via an internal memo.

"At Apple, we support our employees' rights to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health," the internal memo reads. "We are actively monitoring the legal proceedings challenging the uniquely restrictive abortion law in Texas. In the meantime, we want to remind you that our benefits at Apple are comprehensive, and that they allow our employees to travel out-of-state for medical care if it is unavailable in their home state."

That means any Apple employee, regardless of where they live, is able to use employee benefits for out-of-state care. That isn't the most ideal compromise for employees seeking to flee anti-abortion states.

Employees are seeking a more drastic response from the company, however. According to some employees, it is a companywide policy that employees can not work remotely or switch their job to another office because of a state's anti-abortion laws.

Any employee seeking to relocate need to apply for a new job at the desired location, claims Wednesday's report.

"A lot of people join Apple because Apple tries to task itself with doing better," one employee says. "The reaction, or lack of reaction, was a huge slap in the face."

Apple's decisions against remote work and mass relocation align with other tech giants. These positions are also reinforced by the $1 billion campus that Apple built in Texas.

Tim Cook hasn't said much on the issue. One of his only tweets about Texas has been in celebration of the Austin campus.

Even though employees can seek abortion care out of state, it isn't an ideal position. In cases of emergency, necessary care could be hours away for an individual — not to mention active bounty programs that seek to prosecute those who seek care out of state.

Despite the framing of the Wired story, this isn't an Apple-specific issue. It is something that any company operating out of the 13 states that banned abortion will have to address, one way or another.

It is not an easy landscape to navigate, but employees still hope for Apple to do more than reference its out-of-state care policy.