Gupta Wessler files a Class Action on Behalf of Black Workers Alleging Facebook Discriminates Against Black Employees and Applicants
The workers are seeking to represent thousands of black professionals denied jobs or promotions by the social media giant, and are asking the EEOC to investigate Facebook’s employment practices. To learn more or get involved please contact Peter Romer-Friedman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 718-938-6132, or Abigail Cipparone, email@example.com.
July 2, 2020, Washington, DC—Today, a group of black workers filed a class action charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that Facebook discriminates against black workers and applicants in hiring, evaluations, promotions, and pay in violation of federal, state, and local civil rights laws. They also allege that black workers at Facebook do not feel respected, valued, or heard, and are calling on Facebook to substantially increase the number of black workers hired and promoted at all levels of the company. A copy of the charge is here.
Black workers currently represent only 3.8% of all workers at Facebook and 1.5% of all technical workers at Facebook. These figures have barely increased in recent years, as Facebook has grown its workforce from about 9,000 workers in 2014 to nearly 45,000 workers in 2019.
In the charge, the workers seek to represent a nationwide class of black workers who were denied jobs, promotions, and other opportunities at Facebook. They are asking the EEOC to investigate what they allege is a pattern or practice of bias against black workers in hiring and employment.
The charge was filed by Oscar Veneszee, Jr., who has worked as an Operations Program Manager at Facebook since 2017 and claims that he has not been fairly evaluated or promoted, despite his excellent performance and achievement at Facebook. Mr. Veneszee, Jr., whose work at Facebook focuses on outreach to Veterans, diversity, and organizations, is a 23-year Veteran of the U.S. Navy. In 2012, he was one of only seven Black Chief of the Boats in the Navy’s history. Two other black professionals joined Veneszee, Jr. in filing the charge, claiming that they were unlawfully denied jobs at Facebook, despite their excellent qualifications and credentials.
“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. “We hope that this discrimination charge starts a constructive dialogue with Facebook about how deepening its commitment to diversity and Black workers will make Facebook a stronger and more dynamic company. Together we can make that happen. The only way to make positive change is to take a hard look at what we’ve been doing and identify the right solutions for the future.”
“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.”