According to the latest news, EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) is looking into allegations of racial bias and hiring practices at Facebook. Reuters reported that the agency has designated this as “systemic
Back in July, a Black Facebook employee Oscar Veneszee Jr. filed a complaint with the EEOC along with two people Veneszee Junior recruited but whom Facebook did not hire. The filed complaint alleges that Facebook discriminates against Black job applicants, employees and promotes racial stereotypes. Veneszee Junior has told NPR that Facebook has “a Black people problem”. According to Veneszee Junior, Facebook has failed to create a culture to attract and retain Black workers.
Reuters notes that EEOC has not brought any kind of allegations against Facebook and the investigation might not produce any findings of wrongdoing from the company’s end. Considering the probe as “systemic”, EEOC might suspect that Facebook’s hiring policies are contributing to widespread discrimination. However, as per Reuters, this kind of designations could pave the way for a possible class action lawsuit in near future. As of now, EEOC has not commented anything on the matter till Saturday.
It should be noted that Veneszee Jr.’s complaint is reminiscent of earlier criticisms of Facebook’s diversity. Back in 2018, Facebook manager Mark Luckie published an internal memo where he stated the company mistreated its Black employees.
Luckie wrote, “In some buildings, there are more ‘Black Lives Matter’ posters than there are actual black people. Facebook can’t claim that it is connecting communities if those communities aren’t represented proportionately in its staffing.”
Additionally, Facebook’s 2020 diversity report shows that Facebook is short of its goal to have 50 percent of its workforce from underrepresented groups by 2024. Statistically, the figure inched up from 43 percent in 2019 to 45.3 percent in 2020.
Last year, in June, Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout over Facebook’s decision not to take any action against posts by former President Trump, one of which had a phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. Trump’s posts were seen as a threat toward people protesting against racial violence across the country.
Yesterday, a Facebook spokesperson said “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.”