U.S. Justice Department lawsuit says Facebook favored immigrants over U.S. workers

On Thursday, the Trump administration sued Facebook, accusing it of discriminating against American workers by favoring immigrant applicants for thousands of high-paying jobs.

“The Department of Justice’s lawsuit alleges that Facebook engaged in intentional and extensive violations of the law by setting aside positions for temporary visa holders instead of considering interested and qualified U.S. workers,” Attorney General Eric Dreiband, of the department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.

The suit applies to more than 2,600 positions with an average salary of approximately $ 156,000, offered from January 2018 to September 2019.

The Internet giant reserved positions for candidates with H1-B “skilled workers” visas or other temporary work visas, the department said.

Facebook “channeled” jobs to visa holders by avoiding advertising on its career website, only accepting physically emailed applications for certain posts or refusing to consider US workers at all, according to the complaint.

Ministry of Justice sues Facebook for discrimination against US workers Prosecution charges Facebook favors H-1B visa workers and other temporary visa holders over US workers https://t.co/QaC9o6CO3u

– Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) December 3, 2020

The lawsuit was filed just two days after a U.S. federal judge blocked rule changes ordered by President Donald Trump, making it harder for people to get visas for skilled workers.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Bay Area Council in Facebook’s home state of California, and others had sued the Department of Homeland Security, claiming that the changes accelerated new restrictions without a proper public review process.

Shown for professionals are valuable for technology companies in Silicon Valley who are hungry for engineers and other highly educated talent.

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White approved a motion to repeal two rules from the Department of Occupational and Homeland Security that would have forced companies to pay H1-B visa workers higher wages and trimmed work types who qualify for visas.

The Trump administration had cited the Covid-19 pandemic and its toll on the economy as reasons to skip required public announcements and review processes, according to court documents.

But White said in his decision that the United States did not demonstrate “that the effects of the Covid – 19 pandemic on domestic unemployment justified the abandonment of the proper deliberation that normally accompanies” changes to the H-1B visa program.

Evidence of unemployment that is most relevant to H-1B visa applications did not show a “serious emergency,” White said.