The US Departments of Labor and Justice settled a lawsuit with Facebook over alleged discrimination against US workers in favor of holders of H-1B visas and other temporary visa holders in its use of the US government’s permanent labor certification program, also known as PERM, the agencies announced. Facebook will pay $4.75 million to the US in the settlement and up to $9.5 million to eligible victims of the alleged discrimination.

Facebook routinely refused to recruit or hire US workers for positions it had reserved for temporary visa holders in connection with PERM, according to the departments.

In the lawsuit, the government alleged that when employees on temporary visas at Facebook asked the company for permanent positions through PERM, the company created permanent positions open only to those temporary visa holders, according to court documents. The company then allegedly used a recruitment process to deter US workers from applying, essentially reserving the positions for the temporary visa holders.

The incidents allegedly took place between Jan. 1, 2018, and Sept. 18, 2019.

In their announcement, the departments said such activity violates the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

“Facebook is not above the law, and must comply with our nation’s federal civil rights laws, which prohibit discriminatory recruitment and hiring practices,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Companies cannot set aside certain positions for temporary visa holders because of their citizenship or immigration status.”

In addition to the monetary amounts, Facebook will be required to conduct more expansive advertising and recruitment for job opportunities for all PERM positions and take other steps.