(JustPatriots.com)- In December 2020, the Department of Justice brought a lawsuit against Facebook alleging discrimination against American workers based on their citizenship. The suit alleges that the social media giant refused to consider or hire qualified American citizens to fill more than 2,600 positions. Instead, the company held those positions in reserve for temporary visa holders Facebook had sponsored for green cards.
Facebook immediately filed a motion to dismiss the suit. And on June 8, Andrea Carroll-Tipton, an administrative law judge, ruled that the lawsuit can move forward and Facebook will have to answer the discrimination charges in court.
Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement that by refusing to hire qualified citizens and setting those positions aside for temporary visa holders, Facebook “engaged in intentional and widespread violations of the law.”
Dreiband went on to say the DOJ will hold any company accountable if it denies employment opportunities by “illegally preferring temporary visa holders.” Dreiband explained that it is illegal to prefer to recruit, consider or hire temporary visa holders over US citizens.
At issue is Facebook’s exploitation of the permanent labor certification process known as PERM. The PERM program works to create permanent jobs by hiring from inside the company any temporary visa holders currently employed. However, the program is subject to the condition that it does not adversely affect job opportunities for US workers.
The DOJ alleges that the structure of Facebook’s PERM program was inherently discriminatory because even if a US citizen applied for one of the available jobs, he or she wouldn’t be considered because Facebook was deliberately reserving the job for a temporary visa holder.
According to the suit, Facebook’s PERM program jobs were not advertised online. Instead, applicants were pre-selected based on immigration status and personally invited to apply. In short, the DOJ alleges, US workers were unfairly denied a chance to even be considered for these jobs.
Facebook, in its motion to dismiss, claimed that the administrative law judge lacked “subject matter jurisdiction” and the suit itself lacked any pleading standards.
While the judge acknowledged that she did lack subject matter jurisdiction to ultimately determine whether Facebook violated PERM regulations, she argued that the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer does have such jurisdiction. Carroll-Tipton also found that the DOJ met the pleading standards in bringing the lawsuit.
The lawsuit against Facebook is part of the Justice Department’s Protecting US Workers Initiative established in 2017 under President Donald Trump.