Labor & Workforce

Facebook sued by DOJ for alleged discrimination against US workers

Washington, Dec 3 (efe-epa).- The United States Department of Justice said Thursday it has filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Inc. for alleged discrimination against American workers.

In the suit, the agency headed by Attorney General William Barr accuses the social media and social networking giant of having refused to “recruit, consider or hire qualified and available US workers” for more than 2,600 positions that offered an average annual salary of approximately $156,000.

The Menlo Park, California-based company employed those alleged discriminatory tactics between January 2018 and September 2019, the Justice Department said.

“Facebook intentionally created a hiring system in which it denied qualified US workers a fair opportunity to learn about and apply for jobs that Facebook instead sought to channel to temporary visa holders Facebook wanted to sponsor for green cards (permanent resident cards),” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division was quoted as saying in a Justice Dept. news release.

The agency concluded in its investigation that during the period in question Facebook’s “ineffective recruitment methods dissuaded US workers from applying to its PERM (permanent labor certification process) positions.”

It said that during that period the company received “zero or one US worker applicants for 99.7 percent” of those positions.

By contrast, it said comparable positions at Facebook that were advertised on its careers website during a similar time period typically attracted 100 or more applicants each.

The lawsuit said most of the temporary visa holders who benefited from Facebook’s actions were workers in the US on H-1B visas, which large companies use to attract highly qualified employees from abroad.

Not only did those alleged practices hurt US workers, they also had “adverse consequences” for temporary visa holders, the complaint alleges.

“An employer that engages in the practices alleged in the lawsuit against Facebook can expect more temporary visa holders to apply for positions and increased retention post-hire,” the Justice Department said. “Such temporary visa holders often have limited job mobility and thus are likely to remain with their company until they can adjust status, which for some can be decades.”

Facebook said in a statement published by US media outlets that it is cooperating with the agency’s review of this issue.

“While we dispute the allegations in the complaint, we cannot comment further on pending litigation,” company spokesman Daniel Roberts said. EFE-EPA


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