TikTok is getting caught up—again—in discrimination accusations.
Two Black TikTok employees alleged they were fired after raising concerns to human resources, NPR reports. Nnete Matima and Joel Carter filed a class action charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the company on Sept. 21, claiming TikTok downplays complaints of racial discrimination and hosts retaliation practices against people for speaking out.
Matima, based in New York City, experienced extreme burnout only one year into her sales position at the Chinese-owned social media company. She was required to handle 75% of the sales outreach for the four-person team she worked on. Matima also learned she was excluded from meetings and heard of supervisors calling her racist names—often referred to as “black snake” behind her back.
She suffered from her first-ever panic attack just by seeing the building.
“It’s like you against the world in these situations; you’re mocked and ridiculed,” Matima said. “It brings you to a very dark place.”
Matima took her complaints to HR, but the claims were pushed to the side. After she filed a second complaint, she was fired. Carter and Matima say the companies’ HR practices will have a horrible effect on future employees who speak out.
His reputation around the office was being portrayed as “angry” and “tense,” and falsely accused him of “slamming doors.” The characterization of him as angry and tense perpetuates a “historic false narrative about people of color, especially Black people,” Carter wrote in his letter. “…When we claim to be mistreated in the workplace” and “dismisses the courage it took to raise these concerns.”
According to CNN, a spokesperson from TikTok says they take employee claims “very seriously” and “have strong policies in place that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the workplace. As an organization, we have a strong record of championing diversity and inclusion,” the rep said.
Source: Black Enterprise