Justice Department Sued Facebook For Not Advertising Jobs To Americans, Only H1B Visa Foreigners

Justice Department Sued Facebook For Not Advertising Jobs To Americans, Only H1B Visa Foreigners

Justice Department Sued Facebook
Justice Department Sues Facebook For Not Advertising Jobs To Americans, Only H1B Visa Foreigners. Photo: Pexels

Earlier this month the U.S. Justice Department sued Facebook for allegedly discriminating against American workers. They announced the news in a press release on their website.

According to the department, 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).”

In a 17-page lawsuit complaint, the department said the social media giant didn’t properly advertise high-paying open positions to Americans, instead favoring foreigners with H1B visas, more commonly known as green cards, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

“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 Eric S. Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division said. “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.”

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While the justice department acknowledged that Facebook did advertise the open roles, they said the company did so in atypical ways that deviate from its standard practice, such as not putting the positions on its website and requiring candidates to mail-in applications as opposed to making online submissions available.

In recent years, it has been questioned whether limiting the amount of H1B workers a company can hire helps or hurts Black Americans. In 2014, a writer for Bloomberg suggested hiring more H1B visa workers does mitigate career opportunities in tech for Black American workers and their Latino counterparts.

“Blacks and Hispanics make up 3% of Google’s U.S.-based tech workforce, on the same order of magnitude as their share of relevant degrees. For Asians, however, there is a striking disparity: according to the NSF, they earned 8.2% of all advanced computer science degrees in 2009, yet they make up 34% of Google’s tech cadre. …the company’s vast ranks of immigrants do represent a sort of diversity, a reflection of the company’s meritocratic values. The Asians, and probably many of the whites, on Google’s payroll must come from an impressive variety of backgrounds. Diversity doesn’t have to be measured in traditional race categories in a company–google is one of the 40% of fortune 500 companies founded or co-founded by an immigrant–where Russians, Chinese, Indians, Ukrainians, Japanese, and Thais work side-by-side,” Leonid Bershidsky wrote.

Facebook defended itself in a statement, but said it “has been cooperating with the DOJ in its review of this issue and while we dispute the allegations in the complaint, we cannot comment further on pending litigation.”