Facebook employee files complaint: ‘We have a Black people problem’

Recruiter blames 'micro and macro aggressions' in the social media giant's work environment as the reason Black people feel that they don't belong

The Facebook Innovation Hub is a temporary exhibition space where the company is showcasing some of its newest technologies and projects. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A Black man, Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against social media giant, Facebook.

In the complaint, Veneszee says that the social network does not give Black workers equal opportunities in their careers.

READ MORE: A Black filmmaker seeking a Black editor triggers Facebook group for ‘racial discrimination’

In an interview with NPR, Veneszee said that “We have a Black people problem.”

The man, who has worked for the company since 2017, says that Facebook “set goals to increase diversity at the company, but we’ve failed to create a culture at the company that finds, grows and keeps Black people at the company.”

Veneszee, a Navy veteran, was hired to recruit other veterans and people of color to the company. Also listed in the complaint is Howard Winns, Jr. and Jazsmin Smith, who were both recruited by Veneszee, but not hired by the company.

Winns and Smith allege that they were not hired because they are Black.

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Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg (C) greets Facebook employees before speaking at a news conference at Facebook headquarters on October 6, 2010 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

According to the complaint, Veneszee states that while he is regularly praised by his supervisor, he has not been given opportunities to be promoted within the organization.

That lack of promotion has cost him the opportunity to earn “tens of thousands of dollars more” in salary as well as a higher bonus and more stock options, he claims.

In a statement, Facebook responded saying, “We believe 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.”

READ MORE: A Black filmmaker seeking a Black editor triggers Facebook group for ‘racial discrimination’

The complaint is not the first allegation of racial bias at Facebook. In November of 2019, a group of Black employees at the company wrote an anonymous Medium post that alleged that “Facebook empowers racism against its employees of color.”

The post read, “We may be smiling.” It said of their outward social media presence, but, it continued, “On the inside, we are sad. Angry. Oppressed. Depressed. And treated every day through the micro and macro aggressions as if we do not belong here.”

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