Science, Technology, and Social Media

Facebook Settles With DOJ Over Claims It Discriminated Against US Workers

Facebook reached separate settlement agreements with the Department of Justice and Department of Labor on Tuesday, resolving claims that the tech giant discriminated against U.S. workers in hiring and recruiting.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) sued Facebook in December 2020, alleging the company refused to hire or recruit qualified U.S. workers in thousands of open positions by reserving spots in its workforce for temporary visa holders through its permanent labor certification (PERM) program. The DOJ also alleged that Facebook intentionally tried to deter U.S. workers from applying for certain positions.

Under the terms of its settlement agreement with the DOJ, Facebook will pay a $4.75 million fine and pay victims of its alleged hiring discrimination $9.5 million. The company will also be forced to make its PERM program more accessible and improve its advertising of open positions to U.S. workers.

“Facebook is not above the law, and must comply with our nation’s federal civil rights laws, which prohibit discriminatory recruitment and hiring practices,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division said in a press release. “Companies cannot set aside certain positions for temporary visa holders because of their citizenship or immigration status.”

The company will also have to undergo audits to ensure its compliance with hiring and recruiting regulations, according to the terms of its settlement with the Department of Labor.

“This settlement is an important step forward and means that U.S. workers will have a fair chance to learn about and apply for Facebook’s job opportunities,” Seema Nanda, Solicitor at the Department of Labor, said in the press release. “No matter an employer’s size or reach, the Department of Labor is committed to vigorously enforcing the law.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. A Facebook spokesperson told The Hill that the company agreed to the settlement to end the litigation process.

“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,” the spokesperson said. “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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