Dec. 3 (UPI) -- The Justice Department on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Facebook, alleging the company discriminated against U.S. workers by creating a separate recruiting process favoring temporary visa holders.
In a statement, the Department of Justice accuses Facebook of refusing to recruit, consider or hire U.S. workers for more than 2,600 positions with an average salary of about $156,000. The suit said the company instead reserved the jobs for temporary visa holders, such as those with H-1B visas.
"The Department of Justice's lawsuit alleges that Facebook engaged in intentional and widespread violations of the law, by setting aside positions for temporary visa holders instead of considering interested and qualified U.S. workers," said Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division said.
The suit is based on an investigation spanning from Jan. 1, 2018 to Sept. 18, 2019.
During this time, the Justice Department said Facebook sought to channel jobs to visa holders by failing to advertise those vacancies on its career websites, requiring applicants to apply by mail and refusing to consider U.S. workers applying for those positions.
"In contrast, Facebook's usual hiring process relies on recruitment methods designed to encourage applications by advertising positions on its careers website, accepting electronic applications and not pre-selecting candidates to be hired based on a candidate's immigration status," the lawsuit states.
The Justice Department's investigation found that Facebook's practices resulted in the company receiving zero or one worker application for 99.7% of the positions related to its permanent labor certification process.
A Facebook representative told The Hill the company disputes the allegations in the complaint and has been cooperating with the Justice Department in its review.