The California-based social media giant Facebook has been accused of discriminating against black workers and job applicants. According to media reports, a current Facebook manager and two people who applied for and were denied positions at the company on several occasions filed a complaint with the Employment Opportunity Commission on July 2. The complainants are all African-American. When allegations of this kind are made against employers, the EEOC first conducts an investigation to determine what further action should be taken.
The current Facebook manager says that he has heard coworkers using inflammatory language about African-Americans and claims that his suggestions for improving diversity at the company have been ignored. He also alleges that the corporate culture at Facebook is geared toward white and Asian-American workers and hostile to black employees. The two job applicants say they were rejected for positions that they were qualified for even though they performed well during interviews and evaluations.
The EEOC charge is the latest in a series of legal and public relations setbacks for Facebook that began in 2016 when the company was hit with the first of five workplace discrimination lawsuits. The company has also been criticized by labor unions and civil rights groups and accused of allowing advertisers to hide their postings from users based on their age or race.
The EEOC investigates claims like these thoroughly, but there is no guarantee that the agency will determine that the employer involved acted improperly. When workers are unhappy with the outcome of an EEOC investigation, attorneys with employment law experience may explain that workers still have legal options. Attorneys may seek to discover evidence of workplace discrimination or harassment that the EEOC missed, and they might initiate lawsuits against employers seeking compensatory damages. When discrimination or harassment is widespread and employers appear to have acted egregiously, attorneys may also seek punitive damages.