The Trump Administration Is Going After Facebook
Facebook is no stranger to controversy regarding its policies, but Trump’s Administration proves not even the Department of Justice is above political errands.
On December 4th, the Department of Justice announced that it was suing Facebook for allegedly discriminating against US workers in favor of H-1B visa workers and other temporary visa holders.
While there are legitimate concerns surrounding Facebook such as the practice of user information collection, privacy, censorship, and false information — the DOJ targeting immigrants seemed to come at a time when the administration they’ve been accused of helping is currently spiraling under control due to Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
The Complaint Laid Out By The Department of Justice
There are two complaints laid out by the DOJ.
The first complaint
The DOJ alleges that Facebook created permanent positions that is open only to that temporary visa holder.
Facebook then implemented a recruitment process intentionally designed to deter U.S. workers from applying.
For these positions reserved for temporary visa holders, Facebook does not advertise the positions on its website, does not accept applications online, and requires candidates to mail in their applications.
Facebook often gets zero applications for these advertised positions. And even when U.S. workers do apply, Facebook will not consider them for the advertised positions.
Instead, Facebook fills these positions exclusively with temporary visa holders. Simply put, Facebook reserves these positions for temporary visa holders.
The second complaint
The DOJ goes on to say, “Not only do Facebook’s alleged practices discriminate against U.S. workers, they have adverse consequences on temporary visa holders by creating an employment relationship that is not on equal terms. An employer that engages in the practices alleged in the lawsuit against Facebook can expect more temporary visa holders to apply for positions and increased retention post-hire. Such temporary visa holders often have limited job mobility and thus are likely to remain with their company until they can adjust status, which for some can be decades.”
Discrimination Against US Workers
A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement the company “has been cooperating with the DOJ in its review of this issue and while we dispute the allegations in the complaint, we cannot comment further on pending litigation.”
On the DOJs website they say, “In its investigation, the department determined that Facebook’s ineffective recruitment methods dissuaded U.S. workers from applying to its PERM positions. The department concluded that, during the relevant period, Facebook received zero or one U.S. worker applicants for 99.7 percent of its PERM positions, while comparable positions at Facebook that were advertised on its careers website during a similar time period typically attracted 100 or more applicants each. These U.S. workers were denied an opportunity to be considered for the jobs Facebook sought to channel to temporary visa holders, according to the lawsuit.”
The DOJ says their case is 2 years in the making, but the lawsuit makes no mentions of how many US workers were already working with Facebook at the beginning and end of their investigation.
Legal experts said that Facebook was in compliance with the recruitment process which was set up by the US Department of Labor. The process is known as the Permanent Labor Certification, or PERM.
One legal expert, Kim Clarke, ab immigration attorney and partner of Varnum LLC said, “Facebook should have done more should have done more than what the Department of Labor regulations required.” But Clarke added that it’s an “unfair approach”.
The DOJs claim hinges on the fact Facebook didn’t advertise and comply with the PERM process which was established in the 1990s. Under PERM, companies must prove that they’re not displacing US workers. Companies like Facebook must prove they aren’t overlooking Americans by posting on workforce agency websites for 30 days, advertising in newspapers for at least two Sundays, and taking other steps that show they’ve advertised for the position.
Minorities Are The Victims
Workers on a temporary visa face many struggles as they look for work and faced uncertainty under the Trump Administration.
Whether Facebook did systematically look for qualified candidates who were on a temporary visa — there’s no indications that Facebook isn’t already a diverse workplace filled with American workers.
If a company chooses to help those in need — people who are looking for opportunities and are qualified — then the DOJ is simply running an errand for Trump who has blocked hundreds of thousands of visas before.