The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been investigating allegations of discrimination against Black candidates

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has termed an ongoing probe of alleged racial discrimination in Facebook’s hiring practices as “systemic,” according to a report on Friday.

The federal watchdog has been investigating allegations after Facebook operations program manager Oscar Veneszee Jr. and three rejected job applicants accused the company last year of discrimination against Black candidates.

The EEOC has designated its probe as “systemic,” which means it has reason to suspect that Facebook’s internal practices may have contributed to widespread discrimination beyond the scope of the complaints, Reuters reported. Systemic probes involve more agency resources than typical investigations.

The agency has not charged Facebook with any wrongdoing till date.

Facebook spokesman Andy Stone declined Reuters’ request for comment on the allegations. However, he said Facebook considers it “essential to provide all employees with a respectful and safe working environment.”

We take any allegations of discrimination seriously and investigate every case, he added.

Facebook was one of several tech firms that pledged to boost the diversity of its workforce in recent years. In its 2020 report on diversity released last June, Facebook said 3.9% of its workforce was Black.

Veneszee, a U.S. Navy veteran, filed his complaint against Facebook in July 2020. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times at the time, Veneszee said he decided to act after concerns he raised with Facebook management regarding the company’s hiring practices failed to yield progress.

The only way to get contributions from Black experience is to have more Black employees at the company, Veneszee said. I think the desire is there, but I don’t think there’s an understanding of what’s required to transition to a company that’s more open, to being diverse, bold.

The tech industry has been the target of widespread scrutiny from regulators regarding their operations, including business and hiring practices. In December, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a coalition of state attorneys general filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook.