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Facebook To Pay Up To $14.25M To Settle Claims It Discriminated Against US Workers

Facebook To Pay Up To $14.25M To Settle Claims It Discriminated Against US Workers

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Labor on Tuesday announced separate settlement agreements with Facebook, Inc (NASDAQ: FB) regarding its use of the permanent labor certification program (PERM). 

Facebook has agreed to pay up to $14.25 million to settle civil claims by the U.S. government that the social media company discriminated against American workers and violated federal recruitment rules. 

Under the settlement, Facebook will pay a civil penalty of $4.75 million to the U.S., 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 Immigration and Nationality Act. 

In addition to this, Facebook will be required to conduct more extensive advertising and recruitment for its job opportunities for all PERM positions. 

It needs to accept electronic resumes or applications from all U.S. workers who apply and take other steps to ensure that its recruitment for PERM positions closely matches its standard recruitment practices. 

Today’s civil penalty and backpay fund represent the largest fine and monetary award the division har recovered in the 35-year history of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.   

In December 2020, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against Facebook, claiming the social media giant discriminated against U.S. workers by reserving specific posts for temporary visa holders from at least Jan. 1, 2018, until Sept. 18, 2019.

Facebook illegally discriminated against U.S. workers based on their citizenship or immigration status while using the permanent labor certification program. 

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said: “Facebook is not above the law, and must comply with our nation’s federal civil rights laws, which prohibit discriminatory recruitment and hiring practices.” 

In recent weeks, Facebook has seen flak from the U.S. government in a whistleblower case. 

A former employee released thousands of pages of internal research to Wall Street Journal and the Senate, shedding light on how its products can negatively affect some young users.

Facebook’s separate settlement with the DOL stemmed from a 2021 audit of the company’s pending PERM applications, which it opened after the DOJ filed its lawsuit. 

The department identified potential violations in Facebook’s recruitment process as a result of the audit. As a result, the company said it will give additional notice and recruitment for U.S. workers and submit to ongoing audits and greater scrutiny to ensure its compliance with the PERM program for the next three years.

“While we strongly believe we met the federal government’s standards in our 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,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.


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