The EEOC charge, filed Thursday, is being filed by Oscar Veneszee, Jr., a current employee of Black Facebook, and two Black professionals named Howard Winns, Jr. and Jazsmin Smith, who claim to have been denied many positions in the company for which they were qualified.
“People of color and black workers remain highly represented at all levels of Facebook and especially at the management and leadership level. They do not feel respected or heard. And they do not believe that black workers have the same opportunity to promote their Facebook career. Maybe. There should be Black Lives Matter posters on Facebook walls, but black workers do not see this phrase reflecting the way they are treated in Facebook’s workplace, “the charge said.
Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.
Like other technology companies in Silicon Valley, Facebook has struggled with class differences. In 2014, when the company first introduced numbers of diversity, Facebook’s workforce in the US was 2% black. Five years later, it was still 3.8% black. (Facebook has not yet released the 2020 Diversity Report). Facebook had 48,268 employees worldwide by the end of March, with a significant percentage in the US.
The charge for discrimination over employment on Thursday states that it is also on behalf of other black workers who have been employed by Facebook or who have applied and have been deprived of Facebook jobs or other employment opportunities due to racial discrimination. The three complainants are asking EEOC to investigate.
An EEOC charge is the first in the job discrimination process. This does not automatically mean that a company commits discrimination. The EEEE has the power to investigate whether there is a reasonable reason to believe that there has been discrimination, according to the organisation’s website. Often, an organization faces a charge through mediation or settlement. If the EEOC cannot determine that a distinction has been made, the complainant may sue.
Thursday’s charge claims that Facebook has policies, patterns or practices that adversely affect the opportunities of black workers and applicants. Among the structural issues is Facebook’s alleged practice of using peer reviews from an overwhelmingly white and Asian-American workforce and its “failure” to have different groups of employees and managers to evaluate employees. The indictment also states that Facebook requires employees to judge all claims of racial discrimination and harassment in a secret forum where all decisions are “confidential and not available to the public.” It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
It is a risk for an employee to incur such a charge while still working for a company. But as protests over racial equality swept through the United States following the death of George Floyd, Venezuela decided it was time for action. “It’s the moment I feel like saying something. It’s my responsibility to do it,” he said. “There’s a lot of risk. I’ve wondered. It’s a difficult decision, but I think it’s the right one.”
Veneszee, who is a Navy veteran and joined Facebook in 2017, supports veterans’ initiatives in the company’s infrastructure department and helps hire people of color at its data centers. According to the complaint, he is said to have heard his colleagues use the word N in the workplace, has been criticized for offering constructive thinking about diversity recruitment plans, and has never received or received a higher rating than “Meets All Expectations”. promotion despite Veneszee’s believes he has exceeded expectations and has been praised by his manager He also said he has never been audited by a Black manager.
In an interview with CNN Business, Veneszee recalled a meeting with a White Army recruiter discussing a recruitment program. Veneszee said she asked why the conscript had only listed a historically black college or university in her plan. “She felt like I was being attacked,” Venezuela said. “I got a phone call from my manager asking me what happened, what I told her.” He was then asked to normalize the situation and apologize to the recruiter. “I don’t understand why the word HBCU or Black will offend anyone,” Venezuela said, noting that he did not believe he raised the question aggressively.
Veneszee said he tried to take several steps internally to raise awareness of various issues, such as sharing his thoughts on internal Facebook forums. In an internal post, he wrote that Black employees were not happy with the infrastructure department. HR contacted him about the position and called on him to discuss how the company should approach issues of diversity. However, he said that these talks did not lead to action. “I don’t think they understood,” Venezia said.
Winns, one of the job seekers who applied for the charge, applied for three roles on Facebook, which he claims were well-trained. It was reported by a current Facebook employee for two of these positions. According to the category, Facebook prefers to hire employees based on referrals from existing employees. Winns, who holds an MBA from College of William & Mary, has played roles in the BNSF Railway, Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern Corporation. He is currently working for a large technology company that is not mentioned in the category.
According to the charge, the other Facebook employees currently in the same role as Winns applied for have more or less similar experience or training from him, and are all White.
In one of his interviews with Facebook, Winns claims that the conscript and researcher said his background, including his training and work experience, was “strong” for the job. Within 48 hours of the interview, he was informed that he had not been selected for the role.
Smith, another job seeker, has applied for roles on Facebook in 2012, 2018 and 2020, for positions he claims were appropriate and met all the minimum and preferred requirements. Smith holds a degree from Clemson University and has worked for nearly a decade on human resources, including technology companies.
This year, a Facebook recruiter claimed that she had the right qualifications for many positions in the company and that she would send her applications for several positions. The recruiter stressed that “fit fit” is very important on Facebook. She was not offered interview opportunities and was later informed that Facebook had decided not to proceed with any of these roles, according to the indictment.
Despite the allegations, Veneszee said he is still with the company because of the impact he feels he has managed to make with communities on diversity. He and other complainants hope to work constructively with Facebook for change. “We need to look inward and be honest about the problem,” Veneszee said.