Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA (AP) — A Black Facebook employee, joined by two others denied jobs at the social network, filed a complaint against the company, saying it discriminates against Black workers and applicants in hiring, evaluations, promotions and pay.

The charge was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by Oscar Veneszee Jr, who worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017 and claims he has not been fairly evaluated or promoted despite his “excellent performance” at the company. Two others joined Veneszee’s complaint, saying they were unlawfully denied jobs at the company despite being qualified.

Facebook said in a statement it takes discrimination allegations seriously and investigates every case. “We believe it is essential to provide all employees with a respectful and safe working environment,” said spokeswoman Pamela Austin.

Black workers account for 3.8 per cent of United States (US) Facebook employees and 1.5 per cent of all US technical workers at the company. Those numbers barely budged over the past several years.

This is not the first criticism a Black employee levelled at Facebook. Mark Luckie, who left the company in 2018, sent a memo to his coworkers on his last day — also posted on Facebook — that chronicled what he called Facebook’s “black people problem”.

The Facebook logo on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square. PHOTO: AP