- A Facebook recruiter and 2 rejected job applicants filed a complaint Thursday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing the company of discriminating against Black workers, as initially reported The Washington Post.
- Both employees, all of whom are Black, alleged that Facebook has a blueprint of”racial discrimination in hiring, evaluations, promotions, and cover” for Black employees and job applicants.
- “There may be Black Lives Issue posters about Facebook’s walls, but Black employees don’t find that phrase representing how they are treated in Facebook’s own workplace,” the complaint states.
- Facebook has faced accusations about racism in its walls including from a Black former executive, anonymous Black employees, also other Black recruiters.
- The business is also facing growing pressure from employees, civil rights groups, and more than 500 advertisers to take a stronger stance on moderating hate address on its platform.
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A Facebook hiring manager and two project applicants he attempted to sponsor filed a complaint against the business on Thursday accusing it of discriminating against Black workers, as first documented The Washington Post.
The complaint, which was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleges that Facebook”has had and continues to have a general policy of discrimination against Black applicants and employees, including in hiring, evaluations, promotions, and pay.”
“Facebook’s deeds haven’t matched its rhetoric,” the complaint states, adding that people of color in the company, especially Black workers, are underrepresented, do not feel respected or heard, and don’t have an equal chance to advance.
“There may be Black Lives Issue posters about Facebook’s walls, but Black employees do not see that term reflecting how they are handled in Facebook’s own workplace,” it says.
Oscar Veneszee Jr., a recruiter for Facebook’s infrastructure group and Black US Navy veteran who specializes in helping the company recruit others of color and veterans, and that brought the criticism, said that he’s fought to get fair performance tests or increases, and frequently experiences racism at work.
Howard Winns Jr. and Jazsmin Smith, two candidates recruited by Veneszee, also combined the complaint, alleging they were rejected for positions despite being”well-qualified” and using recommendations from a existing Facebook employee.
“Facebook may and have to do a much better job recruitment, hiring, promoting, and retaining Black workers. It’s time to close the difference between Facebook’s deeds and words on the issue of diversity,” Peter Romer-Friedman, an attorney at Gupta Wessler who represents the employees, said in a statement.
“We think it’s vital to offer all workers with a respectful and safe working environment. We take any allegations of discrimination seriously and explore every scenario,” Facebook spokesperson Pamela Austin informed Business Insider in a declaration.
The criticism takes aim at a wide range of Facebook policies, cultural problems, and lack of diversity, and comes at a time once the organization is under intense pressure from outside critics in addition to within its walls to take stronger actions to combat systemic racism.
The absence of diversity one of Silicon Valley tech firms is widespread and not confined to Facebook. At Apple, only 3 percent of the organization’s top leaders were African American in 2018, the year of its most recent public demographics report. Latinos represented 7% of Apple’s leadership. In Google-parent Alphabet, Blacks and Latinos accounted for 2.6% and 3.7 percent, respectively, of its leadership ranks in the organization’s most recent report.
Culture fit and secret forums
The Facebook complaint criticizes a number of Facebook’s hiring practices — many of which are common throughout the technology sector — for example”culture fit” and a preference for referrals. It alleges that those practices, given Facebook’s”overwhelmingly white and Asian-American workforce,” negatively affect Black applicants.
The complaint additionally calls out the company for forcing employees to raise racial discrimination and harassment claims through a”secret forum where all rulings are’confidential and not accessible to the public.'”
Similar arbitration requirements around sexual harassment claims confronted pushback during the #MeToo motion and have since been abandoned by many tech companies.
This is hardly the first time Facebook has been enticed by workers of discrimination within the workplace. In late 2018, former Facebook employee Mark Luckie wrote that the business had failed to build a work environment and deal with racism, saying that:”Facebook has a shameful individuals difficulty .”
A year later, anonymous Black employees circulated a memo stating those problems had only gotten worse, writing:”Facebook still has a shameful people difficulty. “
Earlier this season, another diversity-focused recruiter at Facebook sued the firm for $100 million, also alleging racial discrimination.
The societal networking giant is also facing a growing chorus of critics who say it should do more to combat racism and hate speech on its own platform too. Following CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended his decision to not take action on contentious articles by President Donald Trump, workers at Facebook and Zuckerberg’s philanthropic initiative revolted.
Last month, civil rights groups such as the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, and Colour of Change called for advertisers to boycott Facebook, also more than 500 companies, including major brands like Coca-Cola, Ford, Starbucks, Verizon, Adidas, and Unilever, have signed on.