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Facebook Settles DOJ Lawsuit And Labor Department Audit

Facebook settles a lawsuit by the Department of Justice and an audit by the Department of Labor over the PERM hiring program.
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Facebook  (FB) - Get Free Report shares rose Tuesday afternoon after the company agreed to settle separate claims with the U.S. Departments of Justice and Labor.

Facebook will pay up to $14.25 million in fines for recruitment violations tied to a hiring program.

Shares of Facebook closed Tuesday's session up 1.4% to $339.99. 

The government says that Facebook refused to "recruit, consider or hire U.S. workers" under the permanent labor certification program (PERM).

"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.

PERM is designed for eligible "U.S. workers," which includes refugees, asylees and lawful permanent residents as well as U.S. citizens and nationals. 

Facebook disenfranchised some U.S. workers by requiring applications to be submitted by mail only; refusing to consider U.S. workers who applied to the positions; and hiring only temporary visa holders, according to the Justice Department's lawsuit against the company. 

U.S. workers with H-1B visas could be among those who were not allegedly considered for employment. 

The fine represents "by far" the largest civil penalty recovered by the Justice Departments civil rights division. 

The Labor Department got involved in early 2021, initiating an audit of the company's pending PERM applications. The agency found "potential regulatory recruitment violations" and requested additional information from Facebook. 

Facebook will pay a civil penalty of $4.75 million under its DOJ settlement and another $9.5 million to eligible "victims of Facebook's alleged discrimination."