Retail giant Amazon is facing a lawsuit by a former manager who claims she was made to scour the social media accounts of prospective hires to identify their race and gender.
When she raised concerns about the questionable practice, she was fired.
Lisa McCarrick filed a complaint with California’s superior court Monday, Feb. 24, accusing a unit of the company of retaliation, wrongful termination, failure to prevent discrimination, and violating the state’s labor code, according to NBC News. McCarrick, 38, a former regional manager for Amazon, is also suing for violation of the state’s Equal Pay Act, alleging she was paid far less than her male colleagues.
McCarrick’s initial role, starting in July 2018, was as a loss prevention officer, before she worked her way up to regional manager, the lawsuit states. After her promotion, a supervisor instructed her to poke around job applicants’ social media accounts “for the purpose of ascertaining race/ethnicity and gender.”
She says she was uncomfortable with the ask and, in September 2018, filed a written complaint raising concerns about that as well as the pay disparity between her and her male co-workers. Just two months later, she was called into a meeting with human resources and informed that she was fired.
“During the meeting in which she was informed of her termination, it was communicated to her that her direct supervisor had admitted to utilizing social media accounts for the purpose of ascertaining race and ethnicity,” the complaint states, arguing the “plaintiff’s protected complaints of race/ ethnicity discrimination were substantial motivating reasons for the decision to terminate her employment.”
McCarrick is seeking unspecified damages.
The ex-manager says she was told the reason for her firing was because she wasn’t meeting expectations. All of her previous performance evaluations, according to the lawsuit, were positive.
During the meeting, a loss prevention manager also acknowledged McCarrick was earning less than her male colleagues, but is quoted as saying “‘that happens all the time at Amazon.”
So far, Amazon hasn’t responded to the lawsuit.
Atlanta Black Star reached out for comment and is waiting to hear back.