Facebook Sued for Preference for Foreign Workers
When we hear “discrimination” in a professional setting, what first comes to mind is usually the lack of equal opportunities for minorities and foreign workers. However, a recent lawsuit against Facebook, Inc. fights against the inequality faced by American workers.
December 3rd, 2020, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Inc. for discriminating against American workers and preferring foreign workers during their recruiting process.
The Department of Justice had been collecting evidence in the past two years. It pointed out that from January 1st, 2018 to September 18th, 2019, Facebook routinely preferred visa holders, including H-1B holders, for jobs connected with the PERM process.
The Department believes Facebook did not grant American applicants the same opportunities as foreign applicants. According to statistics from the Department of Justice, Facebook gave more than 2,600 opportunities with average salaries of over $156,000 to foreign workers instead of American workers.
“Is it not the companies’ right to decide whom to employ?” you may ask. In fact, there are rules and regulations that pertain to this matter. Employers must place job advertisements in 2 Sunday editions of a local newspaper with wide circulation.
There are other ways for employers to fulfill this rule, such as attending a job fair, posting on the company’s website about the position, etc. If the company receives applications from any American worker that qualifies the position’s criteria, the company must interview the applicant.
The Department of Justice accuses Facebook of failing to comply with the above rules and taking procedures that make the application process less accessible to Americans, such as requiring applications to be mailed physically. These factors hurt the employment opportunities of U.S. workers.
The Department of Justice states that during 2018-2019, Facebook received at most one U.S. worker application for 99.7% of its PERM positions.
“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.” Said Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division.
The outcome of the lawsuit is still yet to be determined. For sure, this case will act as a warning for many other Silicone valley moguls to be more cautious during the recruiting process in the future.