Facebook has agreed to pay a $4.75 million fine in order to settle allegations of hiring discrimination against U.S. workers. As a part of that settlement, the social-networking giant will also change some of its recruiting practices, and could pay up to $9.5 million to “eligible victims.”
In late 2020, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Facebook, alleging that the company “used recruiting methods designed to deter U.S. workers from applying to certain positions, such as requiring applications to be submitted by mail only; refused to consider U.S. workers who applied to the positions; and hired only temporary visa holders.”
Intentionally discriminating against U.S. workers because of their citizenship or immigration status is a violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which led the Department of Labor (DOL) to launch an investigation in early 2021 into Facebook’s compliance with hiring regulations. In addition to fines and penalties, the Justice Department added in its statement, “Facebook will be required to conduct more expansive advertising and recruitment for its job opportunities for all PERM [permanent labor certification program] positions, accept electronic resumes or applications from all U.S. workers who apply, and take other steps to ensure that its recruitment for PERM positions closely matches its standard recruitment practices.”
The fine and monetary awards are the largest that the federal government has reportedly recovered in the history of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision. "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," Facebook wrote in a statement, according to NPR.
A massive fine over its hiring isn’t the only trouble Facebook faces (pun intended) at the moment; amidst scandals related to a leaked trove of internal documents and some gnarly technical snafus, the company is reportedly considering an outright name change/rebranding.