Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Marco Green
July 5, 2020

It is said that Facebook has been discriminating against people of color after a Black Executive quit in anger two years ago over the poor treatment of the Black Workers who accounted for 4% of the workforce on Facebook. Thursday's complaint to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by a Washington-based operations program manager adds pressure on the social network, which is facing an advertising boycott over its failure to remove violent, divisive, racist and discriminatory posts.

Concomitantly, Oscar Veneszee, a Washington DC-based operation program manager of Facebook Inc., had filed a lawsuit later on Thursday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing the Menlo Park-based silicon valley giant of mass-scale discrimination against its black employees, while Veneszee had also added in the lawsuit that the Black workers now occupied only 1.5 per cent of the technical positions.

Facebook said in a statement it takes discrimination allegations seriously and investigates every case. Two others joined Veneszee's complaint, saying they were unlawfully denied jobs at the company despite being qualified.

"We believe it is essential to provide all employees with a respectful and safe working environment", spokesperson Pamela Austin said in an email.

Last November, a group of 12 Facebook employees published an anonymous open letter claiming that there have been continued instances of discrimination against black staff at the company.

Among the 10 demands set out by the campaign is for people who experience severe harassment on Facebook to be allowed to speak with a company employee. "In my time at the company, I've heard far too many stories from black employees of a colleague or manager calling them "hostile" or "aggressive" for simply sharing their thoughts in a manner not dissimilar from their non-Black team members".

Nonetheless, according to the lawsuit filed by the Black Facebook employee, Oscar Veneszee, Facebook Inc. had shown a persistent pattern of discrimination in hiring, performance evaluation and promotion against the black workers. They do not feel respected or heard.

"There may be Black Lives Matter posters on Facebook's walls, but black workers don't see that phrase reflecting how they are treated in Facebook's own workplace", the complaint, brought forward by law firm Gupta Wessler, says.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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