Jul 2, 2020 - Technology

Facebook sued for alleged bias against Black employees and applicants

a Facebook logo seen displayed on a smartphone

Photo: Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook was sued Thursday by a hiring manager and two job applicants who allege the company acts in a biased manner against Black workers, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture per Axios' Scott Rosenberg: The lawsuit comes as Facebook confronts a growing advertiser boycott over its treatment of hate speech on its platform, all against the wider backdrop of national outrage over police violence against Black Americans and other manifestations of systemic racism. Facebook, like most Silicon Valley companies, has very few Black employees and has promised to increase its diversity.

The state of play: Black employees make up 3.8% of Facebook's 45,000-member workforce, 1.5% of technical jobs and 3.1% of senior leadership, per the Post.

What they're saying: The complaint, filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleges Facebook has a pattern of discrimination and bias against its Black employees in evaluations, promotions and hiring.

  • It cites the Silicon Valley idea of "culture fit," which it claims predisposes managers to hire applicants who are likely to fit in with current employees, who are predominantly Asian and white.

Go deeper...Former Facebook employee: "The company doesn't try" to boost diversity

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