'We Have A Black People Problem': Facebook Worker Claims Racial Discrimination

The complaint alleges a hostile environment for Black workers, echoing longstanding criticism of the tech company's lack of diversity.

7/3/2020 10:29:00 AM

A Black Facebook employee is accusing his employer of racial discrimination by failing to give Black workers equal opportunities in their careers and creating a 'hostile work environment.' His complaint echoes longstanding criticism of the company.

The complaint alleges a hostile environment for Black workers, echoing longstanding criticism of the tech company's lack of diversity.

Jeff Chiu/APtoggle captionJeff Chiu/APThe complaint echoes earlier criticism of Facebook from Black employees who have long been frustrated at its lack of diversity.Jeff Chiu/APA Black Facebook employee is accusing his employer of racial discrimination.

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In a complaint filed Thursday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Oscar Veneszee Jr. said the social network does not give Black workers equal opportunities in their careers."We have a Black people problem," Veneszee told NPR. Veneszee is a Navy veteran who recruits other veterans and people of color as part of diversity initiatives at Facebook's infrastructure division."We've set goals to increase diversity at the company, but we've failed to create a culture at the company that finds, grows and keeps Black people at the company."

Veneszee, who has worked for Facebook since 2017, filed the employment discrimination charge along with Howard Winns, Jr., and Jazsmin Smith — both of whom Veneszee recruited — who said they applied to work at Facebook but had not been hired, they alleged, because they are Black. The claim, they said, was filed on behalf of"all Black Facebook employees and applicants to Facebook."

A spokesman for Facebook 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."The complaint echoes earlier criticism of Facebook from Black employees who have long been frustrated at its lack of diversity. Facebook's 48,000-strong workforce is largely white and Asian like most of its Silicon Valley peers. Just under 4% of the U.S.-based staff is Black, and that drops to 3% among senior leadership, according to the company's most recent

diversity report.Veneszee alleged in the complaint that while he has been lauded as a"natural leader" and a"powerhouse" by his manager, he has never received an evaluation that would allow him to be promoted within the company. That lack of promotion had cost him the opportunity to earn"tens of thousands of dollars more" in salary as well as a higher bonus and more stock options, the complaint claimed.

Veneszee also alleged that he faced"significant challenges, racial discrimination, and hostility at Facebook, which has limited his career advancement at the company.""Internally they should be transparent about where we are falling short and take a look at every Black employee that's currently working at the company to make sure that they have properly valued their contribution to the company," he told NPR.

His complaint, which was filed with the federal agency that enforces civil rights laws relating to workplace discrimination, alleged that Facebook violates federal and state law by discriminating against Black workers and applicants"in hiring, evaluations, promotions, and pay" and by creating a"hostile work environment."

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It said the company's policies"adversely affect the opportunities of Black workers and applicants," through practices such as considering"cultural fit" in hiring and promotions, relying on peer review to evaluate employees and requiring employees to bring claims of racial discrimination and harassment in confidential arbitration.

One former employee, Mark Luckie, wrote amemowhen he left in 2018 accusing the company of"failing its Black employees and its Black users." Luckie, who is Black, was hired to build relationships with influencers from underrepresented communities but says he encountered exclusion and discrimination during his time at Facebook.

Read more: NPR »

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This is never going to end with they don’t treat me right type scenario. I wish these people would walk a day in the shoes of the buisness owners and see how it’s impossible to make every one happy.Buisnesses are to give you an income not to figure out your problems. Not surprised in the least. Their boss is trying to buy up a whole bunch of land from deceased Hawaiians on Kaua'i, and keep it from common Hawaiians. That's about as racist as it gets.

Black people have to understand that the people that operate Facebook only want to have Blacks on their security detail. And they only want to help Blacks that have been wrongfully convicted and in prison for 20-30 years. You have to look at the history. Only racists cry 'racism' because they see people based on skin color, not their character or abilities.

As a minority the smarter you are the more you will be overlooked in the workplace... that’s been my experience at least. NPR talking about racism... Facebook finkd Not surprising, Zuckerberg loves remaining silent on issues that might show he has a spine... What? The company owned by a guy who has private dinners with trump is racist? Yeah, ok, I can buy that.

New privilege is rising Doesn't sound like something Mark Zuckerberg would do... ...hahahahahaha! I couldn't keep a straight face! facebook discrimination is LEGENDARY . look at the censorship of CONSERVATIVES Oh please, collapse the whole thing Radical left is the enemy of the USA!!! Silicon Valley Zuckerburg Mr. Lefty Ya don’t say

I mean when your boss is an actual lizard. Perfect timing for a lawyer assisted money grab. Do you think the guy who created this to rank the looks of women gives a shit about minorities? StopHateForProfit BoycottFacebook DeleteFacebookNow Give the guy a separate but equal Black Facebook. Blacks usually remain separate when they don't have to. It has nothing to do with forced segregation either. That is the way they like it and you can see what I am saying by just looking at the people sitting at cafeteria tables.

StopHateForProfit Do the black people just not want to work there? Are they getting spit on at work or something? What’s the problem? Facebook sucks anyway. They arbitrarily ban you for no reason and give you no way to defend yourself. They make billions of dollars off their users and offer zero customer support.

Well that... was really unsurprising...

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