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Facebook to pay $14 million to settle claims it discriminated against US workers

Image credit: Nexter

According to the Justice Department, Facebook will have to pay more than $14 million to settle a case alleging that it denied US workers jobs in 2018 and 2019 because it reserved jobs for foreign workers on temporary visas.

In December 2020, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly manipulating the permanent labor certification program to reserve jobs for temporary visa holders and for utilizing recruitment strategies to discourage US employees from applying for particular posts.

Facebook allegedly only accepted applications by mail, refused to consider US workers who applied, did not post job openings on its employment website, and recruited only temporary visa holders. According to the Department of Justice, the posts paid an average of $156,000 a year.

The settlement is historic, according to Kristen Clarke, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

It is the “largest fine and monetary award that the Civil Rights Division ever recovered in the 35-year history of the INA’s [Immigration and Nationality Act] anti-discrimination provision,” DOJ said in a statement.
“Companies cannot set aside certain positions for temporary visa holders, because of their citizenship or immigration status,” Clarke said.
According to the Justice Department’s settlement, Facebook will pay a $4.75 million civil penalty to the US and up to $9.5 million to qualifying victims of Facebook’s alleged prejudice, as well as train its employees on the INA’s anti-discrimination provisions.
According to a DOJ official, the Civil Rights Division and Facebook will assess who is qualified for compensation.
According to the person, the arrangement with Facebook will last for three years, during which time the Justice Department will be able to choose which applications to analyze at its discretion.
A Facebook spokesperson said: ​​”While we strongly believe we met the federal government’s standards in our permanent labor certification (PERM) practices, we’ve reached agreements to end the ongoing litigation and move forward with our PERM program, which is an important part of our overall immigration program. These resolutions will enable us to continue our focus on hiring the best builders from both the U.S. and around the world, and supporting our internal community of highly skilled visa holders who are seeking permanent residence.”

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