Facebook sued for favouring H1B visa holders over US workers

The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly discriminating against workers in the US, keeping a separate job listing process for the H1B visa holders.

The lawsuit alleged that Facebook refused to recruit, consider, or hire qualified and available US workers for over 2,600 positions that the social network, instead, reserved for temporary visa holders it sponsored for permanent work authorisation (or green cards).

“The positions that were the subject of Facebook’s alleged discrimination against US workers offered an average salary of approximately $156,000,” the DoJ said in a statement late on Thursday.

According to the lawsuit, 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”.

“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,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division.

The lawsuit follows a nearly two-year investigation into Facebook’s practices by the DoJ.

The social networking giant said it has been cooperating with the DOJ in its review of this issue.

“While we dispute the allegations in the complaint, we cannot comment further on pending litigation,” a company spokesperson was quoted as saying.

The department’s lawsuit alleges that from January 1, 2018 and September 18, 2019, Facebook employed tactics that discriminated against US workers and routinely preferred temporary visa holders (including H-1B visa holders) for jobs in connection with the permanent labor certification process (PERM) process.

“Rather than conducting a genuine search for qualified and available U.S. workers for permanent positions sought by these temporary visa holders, Facebook reserved the positions for temporary visa holders because of their immigration status,” according to the complaint.

In its investigation, the department determined that Facebook’s ineffective recruitment methods dissuaded US workers from applying to its PERM positions.