Facebook has agreed to pay more than $14 million to settle Trump-era claims that it discriminated against American workers when filling lucrative jobs, the Justice Department said Tuesday.
According to federal prosecutors, Facebook had set aside more than 2,600 US-based jobs — most of which paid six-figure salaries — for foreign-born workers on temporary visas.
The company “refused” to consider US citizens for the jobs in violation of anti-discrimination laws, prosecutors said in the suit filed in December.
Under Tuesday’s agreement, Facebook will fork over a $4.75 million fine to the US government and pay out up to $9.5 million to alleged victims of the discrimination.
The Mark Zuckerberg-helmed social media giant will also be required to give its employees anti-discrimination training and make a greater effort to recruit American workers.
While the settlement represents a drop in the bucket for a company that took in $86 billion in revenue last year, federal prosecutors nonetheless declared victory.
In a statement, Facebook said it was not admitting wrongdoing, but was glad to have the matter behind it. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been on the hot seat recently with some lawmakers moving for antitrust action against the company.POOL/AFP via Getty Images
“Facebook is not above the law, and must comply with our nation’s federal civil rights laws, which prohibit discriminatory recruitment and hiring practices,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke.
“Companies cannot set aside certain positions for temporary visa holders because of their citizenship or immigration status,” she said. “This settlement reflects the Civil Rights Division’s commitment to holding employers accountable and eradicating discriminatory employment practices.”
“These resolutions will enable us to continue our focus on hiring the best builders from both the U.S. and around the world, and supporting our internal community of highly skilled visa holders who are seeking permanent residence,” a spokesperson for the company said.
Deputy US Attorney General Kristen Clarke said: “Companies cannot set aside certain positions for temporary visa holders because of their citizenship or immigration status.”Getty Images
In a statement to The Post, a Facebook spokesperson denied any wrongdoing but said it was glad to “move forward” following the settlement.
The news comes as Facebook faces increased scrutiny in Washington, DC, after whistleblower Frances Haugen brought attention to Instagram’s mental health effects on teens.
Details of alleged advertising market collusion between Google and Facebook are also set to be made public this week, which observers say could add fuel to a growing political appetite for antitrust action against the companies.
Credit: New York Post