The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an agency with the United States government, recently reported that they will be investigating Facebook for racially discriminatory hiring and promotion practices.
Allegations against the Big Tech company were made about discriminating against black employees and job candidates “by relying on subjective evaluations and promoting problematic racial stereotypes.” Back in 2018, Facebook’s then-partnerships manager Mark Luckie even published an internal memo, which he sent to co-workers on his last day of work, noting that the company had more ‘Black Lives Matter’ posters in the buildings than actual black people.
“Facebook can’t claim that it is connecting communities if those communities aren’t represented proportionately in its staffing,” Luckie wrote.
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The government agency even suspects that the company policies may be contributing to widespread discrimination. Facebook operations program manager Oscar Veneszee Jr., who is Black, said the company has problems in creating a culture that keeps people at the company, noting that they’ve “set goals to increase diversity” but failed.
Veneszee said he’s been working for Facebook since 2017 but says the “lack of upward movement” within the company has prevented him from earning tens of thousands of dollars more, as well as a higher bonus and stock options.
The EEOC typically resolves company disputes through mediation or allowing complainants to sue employers, but has designated a few cases “systemic” and brought investigators in to analyze company data and bring a broader lawsuit to represent an entire class of workers. The investigation could take months but find evidence that widespread discrimination is within Facebook’s company policies.
Facebook fell short of its diversity goal in a 2020 report, having just under four percent of Facebook’s current U.S staff Black. Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone didn’t comment on the investigation or reports but said it was “essential” for all employees to be provided a respectful and safe working environment. “We take any allegations of discrimination seriously and investigate every case,” he said.
Last December, the Justice Department also accused Facebook of discriminating against U.S workers, finding that they gave hiring preference to temporary workers such as H-1B visa holders. “The Department of Justice’s lawsuit alleges that Facebook engaged in intentional and widespread violations of the law, by setting aside positions for temporary visa holders instead of considering interested and qualified U.S. workers,” then-Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said.
Big Tech Google has also agreed to spend $3.8 million to settle U.S government allegations that it underpaid women and unfairly passed over women and Asians for job openings. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found “preliminary indicators” that Google underpaid 2,783 women in its software engineering group and that hiring rate differences that disadvantaged women and Asian candidates in software engineer roles in San Francisco, Sunnyvale, California, and Kirkland, Washington. Investigators have also called on Google to review hiring and salary practices.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Big Tech is extremely good at censoring and “talking to talk,” but refusing to walk the walk.