Salesforce.com Inc. employees in Indiana who are uncomfortable with the state’s recently adopted Religious Freedom Restoration Act can relocate with help from the company, CEO Marc Benioff told CNN Wednesday. Critics of the controversial law say it could be used to allow business owners to refuse service to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community on religious grounds. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has argued the law is not discriminatory. The law has drawn scrutiny from leaders of major technology companies, including Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook and 38 others who signed a joint statement against it and similar measures.
Salesforce’s latest move came in the wake of requests made by employees. Benioff responded by saying he will offer them relocation packages. Before arriving at the CNN studio, the company’s CEO said he had received an email from an executive that read, “Look I don’t feel comfortable living in this state anymore, you have to move me out.” Benioff agreed to a $50,000 relocation package.
Benioff acknowledged Salesforce cannot allow all its employees to exit Indiana. The cloud-computing company employs more than 2,000 people in the state. International Business Times reached out to Salesforce to find out how the firm will determine who can transfer and whether any requests have been denied, but did not receive an immediate response.
Benioff was one of the first big corporate executives to come out against Indiana’s new act, with a call-out on Twitter. Since then, he has pledged to cut the company’s investment in the state. Salesforce canceled all events and suspended employee travel there, and it does not plan to back off until the law is reversed, its CEO told Business Insider.