The Department of Justice has sued Facebook, alleging it discriminated against U.S workers by reserving positions for temporary visa holders.
According to CNBC, the department alleged that Facebook did not consider qualified and available workers for more than 2,600 positions with an average salary of about $156,000.
A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement, that the company has been cooperating with the department in its review of this issue and while they dispute the allegations in the complaint, they cannot comment further on pending litigation.
“Facebook intentionally created a hiring system in which it denied qualified workers a fair opportunity to learn about applying for jobs, Facebook instead sought to channel to temporary visa holders whom they wanted to sponsor for green cards, the department said in its release.
The department alleged Facebook used tactics that discriminated against workers beginning no later than January 1, 2018, and through at least September 18 of last year. These tactics includes failing to advertise open positions on their careers website and refusing to consider workers for roles.
“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, Eric S. Dreiband, head of the department’s civil rights division said in a statement.
The department said Facebook’s alleged behavior also adversely impacts temporary visa holders by creating an unequal employment relationship because the worker relies on their employment to maintain their immigration status.
Technology companies have been at the forefront of many fights over immigration reform, especially advocating for H1-B visas, a high-skilled visa used by many technology workers. The Trump administration has tried to scale back some of these protections.
The department is seeking civil penalties back pay on behalf of domestic workers allegedly denied employment and other relief to prevent future discrimination.