- Contingent Workforce Strategies 3.0 - https://cwstrategies.staffingindustry.com -

H-1B roundup: Department of Justice sues Facebook; court blocks recent rules

The Department of Justice sued Facebook for discriminating against US workers; a federal court last week struck down two immigration rules that would limit the ability of skilled foreign workers to obtain H-1B visas.

Facebook. In a lawsuit filed Dec. 3 against Facebook Inc., the US Department of Justice claimed the social network discriminated against US workers in favor of temporary visa holders, including H-1B visa holders.

“The Department of Justice’s lawsuit alleges that Facebook engaged in intentional and widespread violations of the law, by setting aside positions for temporary visa holders instead of considering interested and qualified US workers,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “This lawsuit follows a nearly two-year investigation into Facebook’s practices and a ‘reasonable cause’ determination by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.”

The department contends Facebook refused to consider qualified US worker for more than 2,600 positions that offered an average salary of $156,000.

It also alleges Facebook intentionally created a hiring system that denied US workers the chance to learn about and apply for jobs. The department also said the social network took steps to dissuade US workers from certain jobs by not advertising the vacancies on its careers website and requiring applicants to apply by physical mail only.

The department also noted that hiring of workers on temporary visa status puts them on unequal footing with the company because temporary visa holders have limited job mobility and are therefore likely to remain with the company until they can adjust their status, which for some can take decades.

A Facebook spokesperson told NPR [1], “Facebook has been cooperating with the [Department of Justice] in its review of this issue and while we dispute the allegations in the complaint, we cannot comment further on pending litigation.”

Rules limiting H-1Bs, raising wages blocked. A federal court last week struck down two immigration rules that would limit the ability of skilled foreign workers to obtain H-1B visas. On Dec. 1, the US District Court for the Northern District of California set aside interim final rules from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor that aimed to limit foreign workers’ employment and raise the minimum salaries that employers would need to pay them in order to qualify for the popular visa program.

In issuing their rules, the DOL and DHS both violated the Administration Procedure Act’s comment and notice period, the court determined. Defendants “failed to show there was good cause to dispense with the rational and thoughtful discourse that is provided by the APA’s notice and comment requirements.”