Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Judge rejects Facebook’s attempt to reject lawsuits claiming discrimination against US workers

A judge in administrative law has ruled that Facebook must defy allegations that it discriminated against U.S. workers on the basis of their citizenship by discussing thousands of jobs for temporary visa holders, according to documents from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

On June 8, the DOJs Executive Office for Immigration Review announced that the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (OCAHO) has published a decision (pdf) by Judge of the Administrative Law (ALJ), Andrea R. Carroll-Tipton, who rejects Facebook’s motion to dismiss a case, accusing the social media giant of discriminating against rental practices.

Facebook dismissed the lawsuit, initially filed by the DOJ against the company in December 2020, claiming that the social media giant refused to consider or employ qualified and available U.S. workers for more than 2,600 positions he accumulates for temporary visa holders for which he has sponsored. permanent work authorization, or “green cards”, in connection with the permanent work certification process (PERM).

“The Department of Justice’s lawsuit alleges that Facebook committed intentional and widespread violations of the law by setting aside temporary visa holder positions instead of considering interested and qualified U.S. workers,” Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division said. , in a statement.

“Our message to workers is clear: if companies deny jobs by illegally electing temporary visa holders, the Department of Justice will hold them accountable,” Dreiband said. “Our message to all employers – including those in the technology sector – is clear: you can not illegally choose to recruit, take into account or employ temporary visa holders over American workers.”

The PERM program work to hire from within the enterprise, thus creating permanent jobs for temporary visa holders who wish to continue working for a given firm, provided that the process does not adversely affect the employment opportunities for U.S. workers. But the DOJ claims that, in the case of Facebook, the way the program is structured is discriminatory, because even if U.S. citizens apply for these positions, it will not be considered because the positions are reserved for temporary visa holders.

The DOJ said that Facebook’s posts for PERM programs unlike other public positions were not advertised online and that applicants were pre-selected based on their immigration status and were invited to submit their application by email. This has led to the situation in which U.S. employees are unfairly denied the opportunity to be considered for these positions, the DOJ said.

In its motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Facebook argued that the ALJ did not have the jurisdiction and that the complaint did not state a claim on which relief could be granted.

In her decision to reject Facebook’s motion, Carroll-Tipton acknowledged that she has no jurisdiction to determine whether Facebook violates PERM regulations, but has determined that OCAHO has such jurisdiction. She also found that the DOJ complied with the plea standards to bring the case.

“As the court has previously held, the allegations that they are manipulating the rental practice to disqualify individuals on the basis of citizenship comply with the legal standard in this forum to give a claim on which relief can be granted,” she said in the opinion written.

The lawsuit is part of the DOJ’s Protecting US Workers Initiative, which was instituted in 2017 under the administration of then-President Donald Trump.

Following the filing of the initial complaint in December, Facebook issued a statement to NPR saying it was cooperating with the DOJ’s review and although we dispute the allegations in the complaint, we can not comment further on pending litigation. ‘

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