By Vanshika Thakur
As first reported by The Washington Post, a Facebook hiring manager and two job applicants he tried to recruit, lodged a complaint against the organization on Thursday accusing it of discrimination against Black employees.
The complaint, which was lodged with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, argues that Facebook “has and continues to have a general policy of discrimination against Black applicants and employees, including in recruiting training, promotions, and compensation.”
“The actions of Facebook have not matched its rhetoric,” the complaint mentioned, adding that the company’s people of color, particularly Black employees, are under-represented, do not feel valued or noticed, and do not have the same opportunity to move forward.
“There may be Black Lives Matter posters on the walls of Facebook, but Black employees don’t see the term representing how they are treated in the workplace of Facebook itself,” it says.
Oscar Veneszee Jr., a recruiter for Facebook’s infrastructure team and Black U.S. Navy veteran who works on helping the organization hire other people of color and veterans, and who brought the complaint, said he had failed to get equal performance reviews or updates, and also faced racism at work.
Howard Williams Jr. and Jazsmin Smith, two applicants recruited by Veneszee, also joined in to file a complaint, alleging that they were rejected for the positions despite being“well-qualified” and having recommendations from a current Facebook employee.
“Facebook can and must do a far better job recruiting, hiring, promoting, and retaining Black workers. It’s time to close the gap between Facebook’s words and deeds on the issue of diversity,” said Peter Romer-Friedman, in a statement, an attorney at Gupta Wessler who represents the workers.
“We believe it is essential to provide all employees with a respectful and safe working environment. We take any allegations of discrimination seriously and investigate every case,” Facebook spokesperson Pamela Austin in a statement.
The complaint filed, addresses a wide variety of Facebook practices, cultural concerns, and lack of diversity, which comes at a time when the company is under increasing pressure from outside critics and within its walls to take more steps to combat structural racism.