Before employees in Pennsylvania and other states can file a lawsuit for race discrimination under federal law, they have to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. In most cases where discrimination is alleged, the EEOC has to be given 180 days to investigate the claim on its own before the employee can file a lawsuit. Three Facebook employees just started the 180-day clock by filing EEOC charges stating they were discriminated against for being black.

The three claimants include one manager and two job applicants who were denied positions with Facebook. Both applicants say they were well-qualified for the positions to which they applied, and one of those applicants says that current employees who hold that same position have similar or less experience; those employees are white. The applicant states that a recruiter and interviewer told him he was a “strong fit” for the role, but he was nonetheless rejected for the job within 48 hours.

The other applicant said she applied for a role at Facebook in 2012, in 2018 and again in 2020. After applying this last time, the applicant says a Facebook recruiter told her she was well-qualified for many positions but said that “culture fit” was important; the applicant was never given an interview. The third claimant with the EEOC, a current employee of Facebook, claims he has taken steps to diversify the workplace but says these efforts have been challenged and looked down upon by his superiors.

Federal law prohibits Facebook from retaliating against him for filing a claim against the company for workplace discrimination. Even employees who complain internally about discrimination or harassment are protected from retaliation. Employees in Pennsylvania who feel they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment in the workplace or believe that they were passed over for a job or fired for discriminatory reasons may want to consult with an employment law attorney.