Facebook Pays Millions in Discrimination Settlement

Facebook is in the hot seat once again. 

The social media platform has just shelled out $14 million in order to settle a US discrimination lawsuit. The Justice Department accused Facebook of discriminating against US workers in favor of foreigners with special visas to fill high-paying jobs.

The settlement stipulates that Facebook will pay a civil penalty $4.75 million fine, and up to $9.5 million to eligible victims, equaling around $14 million. 

While $14 million may sound like a lot, it’s about one hour’s of revenue of the social media giant. 

Facebook is still not admitting fault to the lawsuit, but it is paying in order to cross this lawsuit off the list, which seems to be growing by the week for the company. 

In December 2020, the DOJ filed a suit against Facebook for reserving jobs for foreign workers with temporary visa holders through the permanent labor certification program, and using recruitment methods to deter US workers from applying to high level positions with salaries of approximately $156,000.

The suit said that Facebook did not consider “qualified and available U.S. workers” for more than 2,600 positions. Workers discriminated against for the positions included US citizens and nationals, those with asylum, refugees and lawful permanent residents. 

The lawsuit claimed that Facebook “routinely refused” to recruit, did not clearly advertise the positions online, and only hired the temporary visa holders. The suit also said that Facebook required applications to be submitted by mail only. Therefore, the suit alleged, Facebook had intentionally created a hiring system that denied qualified workers a fair opportunity. 

The settlement paid by Facebook now marks the largest fine and monetary award that the Civil Rights Division has ever recorded in the past 35 years of the anti-discrimination provision. 

The company has also agreed to train its employees in anti-discrimination rules, and to conduct more recruitment. An expansion of recruitment for US workers is part of an agreement for a separate settlement with the Labor Department.

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