It’s official: Salesforce will once again be investing in Indiana, holding big corporate events there and sending employees to the state on business trips, the company confirmed to Business Insider.
But it will still help employees leave the state if they are suffering.
The return to normal business in Indiana is because the state fixed its controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act clarifying that it could not be used as a legal defence for blanket discrimination against gay people.
Some say that the fixes to the law don’t go far enough to protect LGBT people from discrimination, but the adjustments are enough for Salesforce to its lift its sanctions against the state.
“The revised RFRA law is a first step in the right direction, and we have lifted all Salesforce travel restrictions to Indiana. We are excited to resume investing in this great state, which is home to our second largest campus,” Scott McCorkle told Business Insider in an emailed statement.
McCorkle is the CEO of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, a 2,000-ish employee unit based in Indianapolis after Salesforce bought McCorkle’s company ExactTarget in 2013.
McCorkle was vocally opposed to the law when it was just a bill, and sent open letters signed by multiple CEOs warning Indiana legislators that there would be backlash if the bill passed.
He helped stir Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s passionate response after the governor ignored those warnings and signed the law.
As soon as the law was signed, Benioff sprung into action. He canceled events and travel to Indiana and called his friends to alert them to what was going on in the state, too, and did a long string of media appearances.
Benioff is Valley royalty. He leads the largest tech company in the city of San Francisco. Soon the outcry went from a mummer to a roar with everyone from celebrities to Tim Cook vocally opposing the law.
Salesforce pulled support from a big Indianapolis tech conference as well, Indy Big Data, and other sponsors bailed on the conference, too.
Salesforce even paid $US50,000 to help an employee relocate out of Indiana who felt uncomfortable living in the wake of the new law.
Although Salesforce is resuming business thanks to the revisions in the law, it will still support its LGBT employees who want to relocate, a spokesperson told us. Salesforce has an overall policy to support employees, wherever they live, if they have pressing needs, a spokesperson told us.
“If an employee is uncomfortable, we will help as we always have,” a spokesperson told us.
Still, we’re told that Benioff, McCorkle and the whole company feel jubilant from this experience.
Not only did the outcry from against this law force the legislators to fix this law, it also caused Georgia to rethink a similar law it was on the verge of passing and caused Arkansas to amend a similar law it had recently passed.
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