DOJ Cracks Down on Facebook Discrimination

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Posted: Dec 03, 2020 3:15 PM
DOJ Cracks Down on Facebook Discrimination

Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The Department of Justice has issued a federal lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly discriminating against American workers and heavily favoring temporary visa holders.

"The Department of Justice’s lawsuit alleges that Facebook engaged in intentional and widespread violations of the law, by setting aside positions for temporary visa holders instead of considering interested and qualified U.S. workers,” Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband said about the lawsuit. “This lawsuit follows a nearly two-year investigation into Facebook’s practices and a ‘reasonable cause’ determination by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Our message to workers is clear: if companies deny employment opportunities by illegally preferring temporary visa holders, the Department of Justice will hold them accountable. Our message to all employers — including those in the technology sector — is clear: you cannot illegally prefer to recruit, consider, or hire temporary visa holders over U.S. workers."

The lawsuit was filed as part of the "Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative," which has been active since 2017.

According to DOJ, the tech giant deliberately failed to consider U.S. workers for thousands of available positions at the company.

"The lawsuit alleges that Facebook refused to recruit, consider, or hire qualified and available U.S. workers for over 2,600 positions that Facebook, instead, reserved for temporary visa holders it sponsored for permanent work authorization (or “green cards”) in connection with the permanent labor certification process (PERM). The positions that were the subject of Facebook’s alleged discrimination against U.S. workers offered an average salary of approximately $156,000," DOJ released in a statement. "According to the lawsuit, and based on the department’s nearly two-year investigation, Facebook intentionally created a hiring system in which it denied qualified U.S. 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."

Meanwhile, at least 40 states plan to sue Facebook in the coming days over alleged anti-trust violations. 

"A group of U.S. states led by New York is investigating Facebook Inc for possible antitrust violations and plans to file a lawsuit against the social media giant next week, four sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.? The complaint would be the second major lawsuit filed against a Big Tech company this year. The Justice Department sued Alphabet Inc's Google in October," Fox Business reports. "More than 40 states plan to sign on to the lawsuit, one source said, without naming them. Facebook declined to comment. A spokesman for the New York attorney general's office declined to comment.?"