Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) faces a lawsuit from the Trump administration, claiming that the social media giant has been reserving high-paying positions for immigrants with temporary H-1B visas. According to the Justice Department, the complaint stated that the company reserved jobs for foreigners. It sponsored the immigrants for permanent residency instead of searching exhaustively in the US for qualified individuals to fill the vacancies.
Facebook reserved high paying jobs for foreigners
The lawsuit is part of the Trump administration’s continued efforts to crack down the alleged displacement of US workers. The move comes at the back of judges blocking efforts by the Trump administration to stop access to other employment-based visas as part of Trump’s priority to fill positions of American companies with Americans. In the 17-page complaint, the DOJ’s civil rights unit states that the company inadequately advertised 2,600 jobs between 2018 and 2019. Immigrant workers on H-1B visas that Facebook was looking to sponsor for green cards filled all these jobs. According to the complaint, these were high paying jobs with an average pay of $156,000.
Companies seeking to sponsor employees for employment green cards should demonstrate that part of the application process lacks qualified Americans to fill the position. A Facebook spokesperson stated that the company is working with the DOJ in its review of the issue. The lawsuit reflects protracted tensions between the President and Silicon Valley tech giants regarding immigrants’ use in key technology positions. It adds to other actions the administration has taken in the tech sector.
Trump administration against H-1B visa program
The Trump administration has been opposed to the H-1B visa program for foreigners stating that American companies are displacing American employees with foreigners that demand low salaries. In 2019, the administration rejected 21% of H-1B visa applications compared to only 6% in 2015. In June this year, the administration banned Visas because of the COVID-19 pandemic and imposed new rules requiring companies to pay H-1B visa employees more. However, federal courts overturned both moves.