A former Facebook employee is suing the company, claiming she was discriminated against based on her sex, ethnicity, and country or origin – an subsequently fired without just cause.
Chia Hong has filed suit against Facebook, a staffer named Anil Wilson and 50 other John Doe Facebook employees for discrimination, harassment, and undue retaliation. Hong says she was hired in June of 2010, promoted in 2012, received nothing but positive performance feedback throughout, and was eventually terminated in October of 2013.
All the while, she was being routinely discriminated against and harassed, she says.
"The discrimination included, but was not limited to, plaintiff being belittled at work and asked why she did not just stay home and take care of her children, being admonished when she exercised her right under company policy to take time off the visit her child at school; being ordered to organize parties and serve drinks to male colleagues, which was not a part of her job description and not something that was requested of males with whom she worked; and being replaced by a less qualified, less experienced male," says the lawsuit.
"The harassment included, but was not limited to, Anil Wilson regularly ignoring or belittling plaintiff's professional opinions and input at group meetings in which she was the only woman or one of very few ... telling plaintiff he had heard she was an 'order-taker' by which he meant that she did not exercise independent discretion in the execution of her job duties," it continues.
Hong also claims racial discrimination, saying,
"The discrimination included, but was not limited to, plaintiff' having her professional opinions belittled or ignored at group meeting in which she was one of the only employees of Chinese descent; plaintiff being told that she was not integrated into the team because she looks different and talk differently than other team members, and plaintiff being replaced by a less qualified, less experienced Indian male.
There are 11 specific causes of action in the lawsuit. Hong says that she was fired when she brought up the alleged harassment.
She's looking to recoup lost wages, earnings, retirement benefits, as well as a monetary judgement for pain and anguish and emotional distress – plus punitive damages.
Facebook provided a statement to TechCrunch, disputing the allegations.
“We work extremely hard on issues related to diversity, gender and equality, and we believe we’ve made progress. In this case we have substantive disagreements on the facts, and we believe the record shows the employee was treated fairly," said the company.