Kinderhook woman claims she was racially discriminated against as TikTok employee
KINDERHOOK – Nnete Matima, of Kinderhook, says she was excited to join the TikTok sales team last year because of what the social media giant platform had become to Black culture in America. Almost immediately after getting the job however, she began to question her career decision and rethink her enthusiasm,
“My managers would seem impatient with me in just basic conversation and yet very accommodating to my non-Black co-workers,” she said.
And so Nnete filed a complaint with human resources. When the alleged mistreatment persisted, she filed another complaint. That’s when she was fired.
“The irony of doing this to your top performer just because they’re not the right color is quite a strange thing,” she pointed out.
At first, Nnete was the only Black employee in her sales department. When other non-whites were hired, that’s when people began to talk.
“It’s been a rough journey,” she said. “Many people walked up to me and said, “‘You’re not the only one. There are many of us going through this.'”
Now Nnete is involved in pursuing a class action lawsuit against TikTok. She’s also learning a lesson about something she’s known about since she was a little girl.
“As a Black woman in American, this is life,” she said. “You know we’re all after the American Dream. We’re told if you work hard, and go to school, you’ll see it pay off in dividends but unfortunately, this is the reality.”
Tiktok issued a statement that read:
“We take employee concerns 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.”
“I do not expect TikTok to suddenly develop a moral compass,” she said. “I want to encourage people to stand up for themselves and also if someone sees something going wrong, especially in a leadership position, please do something about it. Just do the right thing.”