Facebook Inc. has agreed to pay up to $14,250,000 to settle civil claims filed by the Federal government that accused the corporation of discriminating against American workers and violating federal recruitment laws.
Reuters reported Tuesday that two related settlements were announced by the Justice Department and Labor Department and later confirmed by Facebook Inc.
The settlements stem from the original DOJ lawsuit filed last December; the suit accused Facebook Inc. of giving "hiring preferences" to temporary foreign visa workers, particularly H-1B visas, which have flooded the tech industry, displacing thousands of American tech workers.
Assistant U.S. Attorney General for the DOJ's Civil Rights Division described the settlements as "historic," adding:
It represents by far the largest civil penalty the Civil Rights Division has ever recovered in the 35-year history of the Immigration and Nationality Act's anti-discrimination provision.
Reuters reports, "The case centered on Facebook's use of the so-called permanent labor certification, called the PERM program."
According to the government, Facebook Inc. refused to advertise open positions, recruit, or hire Americans for jobs that had been illegally reserved for temporary foreign workers under the PERM program; the suit also alleges "potential regulatory recruitment violations." Compliance with the PERM program mandates:
The DOL must certify to the USCIS that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified, and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
According to the announcements, Facebook Inc. will pay a civil penalty of $4,750,000 plus up to an additional $9,500,000 to eligible citizens who were victims of Facebook's discriminatory hiring practices.
A Facebook spokesperson commented:
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. [The Facebook corporation intends to] continue our focus on hiring the best builders from both the U.S. and around the world.
Aside from the DOL, the U.S. Justice Department agreed that Facebook Inc. actively used unscrupulous and discriminatory recruitment practices designed with the intent to deter citizen workers such as, "requiring applications to be submitted only by mail, refusing to consider American workers who applied for positions and hiring only temporary visa holders," reports Reuters.
Reuters concludes, "The Labor Department this year conducted audits of Facebook's pending PERM applications and uncovered other concerns about the company's recruitment efforts."
For the complete Reuters story, please visit Yahoo Finance.
Updated: Wed, Nov 3rd 2021 @ 3:25pm EDT