Facebook Must Pay $14 Million To Settle Discrimination Claims
Facebook is expected to pay a $14 million settlement for workplace discrimination. This news comes days after CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced they would be rebranding their company and weeks following the outages of popular apps Instagram and WhatsApp.
According to CNN, plaintiffs have alleged that they were denied a job because positions had been reserved for immigrants with temporary visas. They reported instances of this discriminatory treatment between 2018 and 2019.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit and further investigated their claims in December last year. It turns out Facebook used the Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM) to prevent American workers from seeking employment opportunities.
Before a job is allocated outside the country, it must be established that no one within the U.S. has applied or shown interest in their job listing. Whether you run a company or work for one, a workplace lawyer would tell you that it is illegal for positions to be set aside for visa holders. This preferred treatment is considered a form of discrimination – and will be treated as such in court.
Employment discrimination attorneys also found the tech company avoided advertising positions on their career webpage to filter out candidates. They were expected to send their applications through the mail. At the time, the average salary offered was $156,000, according to a statement issued by the DOJ. It was a fairly high benefit.
This is one of the most historic settlements reached, according to Kristen Clarke. She leads the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. In a DOJ statement, she noted this had been the most prominent “fine and monetary award that the Civil Rights Division ever recovered in the 35-year history of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.”
In addition to the $14 million, Facebook must also pay a civil penalty of $4.75 million as part of the Justice Department’s settlement. Approximately $9.5 million will also go to eligible victims who’ve faced a similar situation.