Facebook settled claims that it refused to recruit or hire U.S. workers for positions it set aside for temporary visa holders, CNBC reported. According to CNBC, Facebook settled with not only the Department of Labor, but also the Department of Justice. These were two separate lawsuits.The Department of Justice (DOJ) posted a release on its website that shared information about these lawsuits.
The Justice Department’s settlement resolves its claims that Facebook routinely refused to recruit, consider or hire U.S. workers, a group that includes U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, asylees, refugees and lawful permanent residents, for positions it has reserved for temporary visa holders in connection with the PERM process. Additionally, the Labor Department’s settlement resolves issues it separately identified through audit examinations of Facebook’s recruitment activities related to its PERM applications filed with the Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC).
PERM stands for “permanent labor certification program.”
Specifically, the lawsuit alleged that, in contrast to its standard recruitment practices, Facebook used recruiting methods designed to deter U.S. workers who applies to the positions, such as requiring applications to be submitted by mail only; refused to consider U.S. workers who applied to the positions; and hired only temporary visa holders.
According to the Justice Department’s lawsuit, Facebook’s hiring for these positions intentionally discriminated against U.S. workers because of their citizenship or immigration status, in violation of the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Under the DOJ’s settlement, Facebook will pay a civil penalty of $4.75 million to the United States, will pay up to $9.5 million to eligible victims of Facebook’s alleged discrimination, and train its employees on the anti-discrimination requirements of the INA. It also must accept electronic resumes or applications from all U.S. workers who apply.
The DOJ says that this civil penalty backpay fund represents the largest fine and monetary award that the Department of Justice ever has recovered in the 35-year history of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.
Facebook has been in a bit of trouble lately. The Wall Street Journal reported on Facebook documents that had been leaked to the newspaper. A whistleblower shared what she knew about the behind the scenes of Facebook on “60 Minutes”.
Today, Facebook was fined by the Department of Justice for being less than honest regarding hiring workers. It is a small fine, compared to the vast wealth of Facebook – but it still sends a message to Facebook to stop being awful.