The U.S. Justice Department accused Facebook of discriminating against U.S. workers. They quoted in a new lawsuit the social media giant has given hiring preferences to temporary workers, including those who hold H-1B visas.
The Justice Department said that Facebook had “refused” to recruit, consider or hire qualified U.S. workers for more than 2,600 jobs that in many cases paid an average salary of $156,000 a year, instead, it opted to fill the positions using temporary visa holders, such as those with H-1B visas.
Facebook intentionally created a hiring system in which it denied qualified U.S. workers a fair opportunity to learn about and apply for jobs and channeled such jobs to temporary visa holders it wanted to sponsor for green cards or permanent residency.
H-1B visas are often used by the technology sector to bring highly skilled foreign guest workers to the United States. But critics say the laws governing these visas are lax, and make it too easy to replace U.S. workers with cheaper, foreign labor.
The Facebook lawsuit is the latest example of the Trump administration war with Silicon Valley over attempts to restrict immigration for foreign workers. Tech companies and industry groups have pushed back against moves to limit immigration of foreign workers by saying there are not enough American students graduating with science and engineering degrees to meet the demand for filling jobs in areas such as artificial intelligence.