A federal agency charged with defending civil rights in the workplace is investigating allegations of racial bias in hiring at Facebook and has reportedly given the probe a rare designation of "systemic."
Reuters reported Friday that by designating the probe “systemic,” the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) thinks the company’s policies could contribute to widespread discrimination.
Attorneys for three job applicants and operations manager Oscar Veneszee Jr. told Reuters of the probe.
The employees allege that Facebook discriminates against Black candidates and employees by relying on subject evaluations and promoting racial stereotypes, according to the news outlet.
Veneszee and two applicants that were denied jobs last year brought a charge to the EEOC in July, and a third rejected applicant joined their case in December. The Commission brought in systemic investigators by last August, and received detailed briefing papers from both sides over the last four months, Reuters reported.
The commission has not brought allegations against Facebook and its investigation may not result in findings of wrongdoing, Reuters notes.
A Facebook spokesperson told The Hill in a statement "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.”
The Hill has reached out to the EEOC for comment.
Veneszee filed his complaint with the EEOC in July alleging that the platform didn’t give Black workers equal opportunities. He told NPR at the time “we have a Black people problem.”
“We've 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,” he told NPR.