When any big Silicon Valley scandal breaks, the news is usually followed by a flurry of tweets and social media posts from vocal outsiders asking why tech employees don’t just leave. The companies have crossed the line of morality, they say. To stay in the employ of a company like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Reddit, Twitter, Uber or any other organization that has done something obviously problematic is to contribute to their destruction of the greater good. Quitting institutions that are constantly in the negative spotlight makes sense to critics—why would anyone stick around?
Those on the inside know the decision is far from simple.
To start, tech companies are in competition for the best employees and so the perks they offer are outrageously lavish. Prior to the pandemic, staffers enjoyed free gourmet meals in a wide variety of cuisines, walls of limitless snacks and free transportation in the iconic Silicon Valley shuttle buses. For simply being employees, they are often given housing stipends, free gym memberships, “sleep” benefits to purchase better mattresses and pillows, enviable parental leave policies and healthcare benefits that astound even the most seasoned medical billers.