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Image by wikimedia (Public Domain)/Remix by Max Fleishman

Facebook sued for discrimination by former employee

And she's hired Ellen Pao's lawyers.


Selena Larson


Posted on Mar 18, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 6:50 am CDT

Facebook is facing a discrimination lawsuit from Chia Hong, former Facebook employee, who claims she was harassed and discriminated against during her time at the company.

Hong worked at Facebook first as a product manager and later a technology partner between 2010 and 2013 when she was fired because she complained about discrimination, the suit says.

Hong alleges that she was regularly belittled by her supervisor and treated differently because she was a woman. The suit says she was asked “why she did not just stay home and take care of her children,” and was reprimanded when she took one personal day each month to volunteer at her child’s school, which is allowed at Facebook. The suit goes on to say Hong was told to organize parties and provide drinks for her male colleagues, tasks that weren’t asked of them.

Additionally, Hong claims she was harassed because of her race.

The harassment included, but was not limited to, plaintiff having her professional opinions belittled or ignored at group meetings in which she was one ofthe only employees of Chinese descent; plaintiff being told that she was not integrated into the team because she looks different and talks differently than other team members; plaintiff being told she was an order taker, i.e. did not exercise independent discretion in the execution of her job duties; and plaintiff being replaced by a less qualified, less experienced Indian male.

A Facebook spokesperson told the Daily Dot that the claims are unfounded. 

“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.”

Hong has hired the same lawyer team representing Ellen Pao in a landmark case of alleged gender discrimination at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, currently on trial. The ongoing trial is turning a critical eye on gender discrimination and exclusion in the tech industry, especially at venture capital firms that are overwhelmingly male-dominated. 

H/T The Recorder | Photo via Wikimedia (Public Domain)/Remix by Max Fleishman 

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*First Published: Mar 18, 2015, 5:26 pm CDT