Black workers hit Facebook with class action complaint alleging discrimination and bias

“Facebook is a great company, but it has a long way to go when it comes to treating Black workers fairly, promoting our careers, respecting us, and valuing our tremendous contributions,” said Oscar Veneszee Jr., who has worked being an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017, in a statement provided to Fox News. He claims he has not been fairly evaluated or promoted, despite his exemplary performance and achievement at Facebook.

“We hope that this discrimination charge starts a constructive dialogue with Facebook about how exactly deepening its commitment to diversity and Black workers will make Facebook a stronger and more dynamic company,” Veneszee, a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy whose just work at Facebook is targeted on outreach to veterans, diversity, and businesses, added.

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Black workers represent only 3.8 percent of Facebook’s not exactly 45,000 employees, and even smaller percentages when broken down by technical or leadership roles.  Two other black professionals, Howard Winns, Jr., and Jazsmin Smith, joined in filing the charge, claiming they were unlawfully denied jobs at the tech giant, despite exemplary qualifications and credentials. 

The workers want the EEOC to probe what they claim is just a pattern of bias against black workers at the social network.

The charge doesn’t get to a good time for Facebook. Organizers of the Stop Hate for Profit boycott say that at the least 750 different brands are halting or pausing their advertising on Facebook this month in protest of how the company has handled hate speech. In November 2018, Mark Luckie, a former Facebook employee who’s black, wrote a memo saying the organization was “failing” its black users and employees.

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In this Oct. 25, 2019 photo Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Paley Center in New York.

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“There are so many exceptionally qualified black workers that Facebook can hire and promote, including the courageous professionals who filed this discrimination charge,” said Peter Romer-Friedman, a principal at Gupta Wessler PLLC and counsel for the workers who filed the charge. “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.” 

A spokesperson for Facebook provided Fox News with these statement via email:

“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.”

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