ABOUT THE CASE
The Joseph Saveri Law Firm and its co-counsel Burns Charest filed a second amended complaint against Facebook. The Facebook content moderators’ safe workplace litigation alleges that content moderators responsible for viewing and removing offensive and disturbing videos, images, and broadcasts from Facebook users are suffering from psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are not being protected properly by the social media company.
The firm represents Selena Scola and other plaintiffs who reviewed content for Facebook via various third-party vendors and contractors (e.g., Pro Unlimited, Inc., Accenture LLP, Accenture Flex LLC, and U.S. Tech Solutions, Inc.).
In 2015, Facebook helped draft workplace safety standards to protect content moderators from this type of workplace trauma. Such safeguards include providing moderators with robust and mandatory counseling and mental health support; altering the resolution, audio, size, and color of trauma-inducing images; and training moderators to recognize PTSD’s physical and psychological symptoms. Plaintiffs allege, however, that Facebook ignores the very workplace safety standards it helped create, and instead requires its content moderators to work in dangerous conditions that cause debilitating psychological harm. And absent the Court’s intervention, Facebook will continue to avoid its duties to provide a safe workplace for content moderators.
“This case is about protecting the people who protect the public. Content managers are human beings. They are not disposable. The psychological trauma and cognitive and social disorders these workers face are serious. But they are being ignored, and the problems will only grow worse—for the company and for these individuals. It’s our hope and goal that Facebook recognizes its obligations to these workers and creates a safer workplace for them,” said Steven Williams of the Joseph Saveri Law Firm.
The Facebook content moderators’ safe workplace litigation—Scola v. Facebook, Inc.—sought damages, declaratory, injunctive and other equitable relief to protect the interests of plaintiff and the class. It sought an order requiring Facebook to establish a fund to maintain a testing and treatment program for content moderators to receive ongoing medical testing and monitoring, and any necessary medical and psychiatric treatment, until the determination is made that their psychological trauma is no longer a threat to their health.
On July 14, 2021, the Court granted final approval of a settlement that provides for substantive workplace changes designed to mitigate the psychological harm that can be caused by routinely viewing objectionable conduct. The award also establishes a $52 million fund for ongoing mental health treatment and other payments to the more than 14,000 class members who work for Facebook vendors in California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida.