A former employee at Facebook says she was constantly belittled and demeaned at work because of her gender – and that complaining about it got her fired. She’s now suing the company for discrimination and harassment based on not only her gender but also her national origin.
Chia Hong, who worked at Facebook from 2010 to 2013, started working there as a programme manager and was later transferred to the position of technology partner.
According to her lawsuit, she was allegedly belittled at work by her boss, Anil Wilson, who she claims ignored her opinions in group meetings – ones in which she was often outnumbered by men. When she exercised her right, under company policy, to take one personal day per month to volunteer at her child’s school, she was reportedly ‘admonished’.
Hong claims Wilson asked her why she didn’t just stay at home and take care of her kids, and claims she was told to organise parties and serve drinks to male colleagues, which wasn’t part of her job description. Nobody asked the same of male employees.
The plaintiff, who is Taiwanese, also claims Facebook discriminated against her because of her race and national origin. She says she was told that she wasn’t integrated into the team because ‘she looks different and talks differently than other team members’, the lawsuit reads.
She says she got raises throughout her employment, got positive performance reviews every six months and didn’t get any ‘significant criticism’ about her work before she got fired in October 2013. In the suit, Hong claims she was fired because she complained about the discrimination and harassment she faced. She says she was given ‘unwarranted negative feedback’ in a meeting right before she was fired. She was replaced by ‘a less-qualified, less-experienced male’ who was Indian, according to the suit.
Hong is suing Wilson, Facebook and 50 unnamed Facebook employees; she’s seeking damages including lost wages and retirement benefits, compensation for ‘mental pain and anguish’ and punitive damages against the company. According to TechCrunch, she’s being represented by Lawless and Lawless, a firm that’s representing Ellen Pao, another plaintiff claiming a Silicon Valley firm discriminated against her.
Facebook responded with the following statement:
‘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.’
Here’s the full court filing, via Business Insider:
This article was originally published on Cosmopolitan.com