The Trump administration is accusing Facebook in a lawsuit of discriminating against US workers in favor of foreigners with special visas to fill more than 2,600 high-paying jobs. The Justice Department announced the suit Thursday, alleging that the tech giant refused to recruit, consider or hire qualified and available US workers for the positions that the social medial giant reserved for temporary visa holders. Facebook sponsored the visa holders for "green cards" authorizing them to work permanently, the AP reports. The so-called H-1B visas are a staple of Silicon Valley, widely used by software programmers and other employees of major technology companies. The lawsuit followed a two-year investigation by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "Facebook intentionally created a hiring system in which it denied qualified US workers a fair opportunity to learn about and apply for jobs" that it instead sought to channel to temporary visa holders, the department said in a news release.
The positions at issue offered an average salary around $156,000. The department is seeking unspecified civil penalties and back pay on behalf of US workers deemed to have been denied employment. Facebook said in a statement that it's cooperating with the Justice Department, though it disputes the allegations. President Trump has long advocated restrictions on both legal and illegal immigration, and has raised concerns for years about foreigners competing with American citizens for jobs. He's also been persistently critical of Big Tech companies, accusing them of bias against conservative viewpoints on their social media platforms and threatening to remove their legal protection for content posted by users. Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia, pointed out that "the government usually attempts to work with companies to remedy or correct the allegedly questionable behavior and tries to settle the dispute rather than suing."
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