Wednesday 20th October 2021
Allegation of discrimination
Facebook pays million fine in the US
The lawsuit goes back to the reign of Donald Trump: Facebook is said to have given preference to foreign applicants in the allocation of positions. In this way, US citizens were discriminated against, says the Justice Department. Now the group agrees to a settlement.
Because of the allegation of having disadvantaged US applicants compared to foreigners when it comes to job vacancies, the US group Facebook is said to pay a fine of around 14 million dollars (around twelve million euros). The US Department of Justice announced a corresponding comparison with the Internet giant. “Facebook is not above the law and must comply with our country’s civil rights laws, which prohibit discriminatory recruitment and hiring practices,” said Ministry representative Kristen Clarke.
The US government sued Facebook last December in President Donald Trump’s final months in office. The Ministry of Justice accused the online platform of having reserved more than 2,600 vacancies for foreigners with temporary visas between January 2018 and September 2019, for whom the company wanted to enable permanent residence permits. US citizens were thus “discriminated against”.
The company did not publish the positions in question on its website, only accepted printed applications – i.e. no online applications – and refused to consider US citizens for the positions. Instead, foreigners with the H-1B visa were preferred for highly qualified workers. According to the information, the positions were paid on average with an annual salary of around 156,000 dollars (around 130,000 euros).
Internet companies such as Facebook rely to a large extent on foreign specialists who can enter the country with a temporary H-1B visa, among other things. However, the maximum length of stay is six years. For a permanent residence permit – the Green Card – foreigners need a permanent job offer. The employer must prove that there were no suitable US applicants for the position.
Facebook has now agreed to a fine of $ 4.75 million. A further up to $ 9.5 million should go to disadvantaged US applicants as compensation. In a statement, Facebook affirmed that it would comply with applicable law. The group therefore agreed to the comparison in order to “move forward”. The deal “will allow us to keep our focus on recruiting the best people from the US and around the world.”