WASHINGTON – In a recent crackdown against the Trump administration’s big tech companies, the Justice Department on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Facebook for discriminating against American workers.
In the complaint, the department’s civil rights division said Facebook refused to recruit, consider, or recruit qualified and available American workers for more than 2,600 positions, with an average salary of $ 156,000. According to the complaint, those jobs were moved to immigrant visa holders instead.
The judicial department said that after a two-year investigation into the action, Facebook intentionally favored so-called H1-B visas and other temporary immigrant workers over American workers.
Assistant Attorney General for the Division of Civil Rights Eric S. Driband said, “Our message to workers is clear: If companies illegally deny employment opportunities by giving priority to temporary visa holders, the Justice Department will hold them responsible. ” “Our message to all employers – including those in the technology sector – is clear: You may not like to illegally recruit, consider or appoint temporary visa holders on American workers.”
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said, “Facebook is cooperating with the DOJ in reviewing the issue, and while we dispute the allegations in the complaint, we cannot comment further on the pending litigation.”
The complaint comes after Washington, Facebook, Amazon and Apple filed a complaint against technology giants in Washington under investigation for antitrust violations. In recent years, complaints of data privacy abuse against companies, disinformation on their platforms and the spread of other toxic substances and anticompetitive practices have hurt consumers and small businesses.
This suit increases Facebook troubles in Washington. The Federal Trade Commission and dozens of states are preparing separate lawsuits against Facebook to maintain their power through previous mergers of neo-competitors such as Instagram and WhatsApp. The FTC and the state’s Attorney General are expected to announce a plan of legal action soon.
For years, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made the fight for immigrants’ rights to work in the American tech industry a pet issue. In 2013, he and several friends formed a nonprofit group Fwd.us, which pushed for an overhaul of immigration laws and was stumped to make the immigration process easier for technical staff.
Cecilia Kang from Washington and Mike Issac from San Francisco reported.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.