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Facebook contractor to pay $595K over racial discrimination

November 17, 2020 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A contractor that provides security at Facebook’s Prineville data center will pay $595,000 to settle allegations of racial discrimination by five employees.

The complaints allege that supervisors at G4S Secure Solutions reduced the hours of Hispanic workers, gave them unfavorable shifts and used racist terms to describe them, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Complaints also said human resources personnel did not respond to employees’ complaints. The workers will receive between $80,000 and $175,000 each.

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The settlement did not include an admission of wrongdoing by G4S, which pledged to continue employee training on nondiscrimination policies as part of the settlement. G4S said it denies liability and maintains that it “promptly addressed” employees’ concerns, but seemed to acknowledge that discrimination did happen in Prinevile.

“The actions of the former supervisors are not representative of the hard-working men and women of G4S,” the company said in a written statement.

Facebook said in a statement that while they do not comment on legal matters related to their vendors, Facebook is committed to racial equity and to providing a safe and open working environment for everyone.

“We have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind,” the company said.

Facebook has eight large data centers in Prineville and is in the process of building a ninth. A few hundred people work at the site, a large share of them security contractors.