About a third of Basecamp employees said they quit after the company, which makes productivity software, announced new policies banning conversations about workplace politics.
Jason Fried, chief executive of Basecamp, detailed the policies in a blog post Monday, calling “societal and political discussions” over the company’s messaging tools a “major distraction.” He wrote that the company would also ban committees, reduce perks such as a fitness allowance (employees receiving equivalent cash value) and stop “lingering and dwelling on past decisions.” .
Basecamp had 57 employees, including Mr. Fried, at the time of the announcement, according to a staff list on its website. Since then, at least 20 of them have publicly released their intention to resign or have already resigned, according to a New York Times tally. Basecamp did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Fried and David Hansson, two of the founders of Basecamp, have published several books on workplace culture, and news of their latest management philosophy has been greeted with a mix of applause and criticism on social media. .
After the Platformer newsletter published details of a dispute within the company that contributed to the decision to ban political speech, Mr Hansson wrote in another blog post that Basecamp had offered compensation ranging from up to six months’ salary to employees who disagreed with the founders. choice.
“We are committed to taking a deeply controversial position,” wrote Mr. Hansson, CTO of Basecamp. “Some employees are relieved, others are furious, and that pretty much describes a lot of the public debate about this as well.”
Coinbase, a start-up that allows people to buy and sell cryptocurrency, announced a similar ban last year, with a similar offer to fire employees who disagreed. The company said 60 of its employees had quit, or about 5% of its workforce.