Facebook parent company Meta agreed last week to settle race, national origin, disability and sexual orientation discrimination complaints brought by a former employee, according to court documents (Salem v. Meta Platforms, Inc., No. 22-cv-1073 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 24, 2022)).
The former employee, who identified himself as a gay Latino man with medical conditions including ADHD, a hearing impairment and HIV, sued Meta in 2022, alleging the company wrongfully terminated and retaliated against him under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and state and local laws. The employee also alleged the company subjected him to a hostile work environment.
Meta did not respond to an HR Dive request for comment and details of the settlement have not been disclosed.
In the February suit, the former employee alleged Meta supervisors repeatedly denied accommodation requests for his ADHD and hearing impairment, such as meeting debriefs to allow the employee to review important discussion points. The employee also claimed supervisors described him as “loud, intense, and abrasive,” which the employee attributed to his ADHD and hearing impairment.
Later, the employee claimed, he went to Meta’s employee relations team to complain of discrimination based on his HIV positive status. The employee told a Meta investigator he was “mistreated because of his disabilities and that he did not receive adequate support from his managers,” despite disclosing his disabilities to them. At one point, he claimed, he was offered a severance package but did not accept it.
In July 2021, the employee posted on Facebook Workplace, a communications platform, about his disabilities and about “the importance of being open about one’s disabilities with managers and employers,” per the suit. He alleged Meta’s employee relations team and leadership “aggressively demanded” he remove a portion of his post and said if he failed to do so, he would face repercussions. The employee amended the post as requested.
Meta concluded the employee’s complaints were unfounded, according to the suit. The employee claimed he declined a second severance offer from the company but continued to receive positive performance reviews. Meta terminated the employee in December 2021; he alleged the company told him leadership “does not think you have the strategic skills to manage” a client partnership.