A U.S. agency investigating Facebook for racial bias in hiring and promotions has designated the probe as ‘systemic,’ suspecting that company policies may be contributing to widespread discrimination at the social media site.
The Committee for Equal Employment Opportunity last year started the test after three black job applicant’s attorneys and a manager lodged allegations that the corporation discriminated against them.
The EEOC did not make claims against Facebook.
Facebook operations program manager Oscar Veneszee Jr. and two applicants denied jobs brought a charge last July to the EEOC, and a third rejected applicant joined the case in December. They have claimed that Facebook discriminates against Black candidates and employees through subjective assessments and problematic racial stereotypes.
The Los Angeles Times reported in July that Oscar Veneszee Jr., who had been hired by the Company to recruit other retired soldiers in 2017, lodged a complaint after his objections of how Facebook managers were treating black applicants went unheard.
Veneszee, a 23-year-old Navy veteran, lodged a class action suit to include other black people who were supposedly discriminated against at Facebook, according to the outlet.
Veneszee said in his complaint that, despite encouraging comments from the managers, he had been refused promotions and had experienced animosity and discrimination, the outlet reports.
After questioning why a staffing plan had included only one of over 100 historically black colleges and universities within the country, Veneszee claims he was forced to apologise to the white recruiter.
The EEOC brought in systemic investigators by last August and received detailed briefing papers from both sides over the last four months, said Peter Romer-Friedman, an attorney at Gupta Wessler representing Veneszee and the job candidates.
Romer-Friedman said he and his colleagues told the EEOC in a submission last month that one such Facebook policy is awarding employees bonuses of up to $5,000 when a candidate they refer is hired. Referred candidates tend to reflect the makeup of existing employees, disadvantaging Black professionals, he said.
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone declined to comment on the status of the probe or specific allegations but said that “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,” he said.