Facebook is accused of hiding job openings from potential U.S. applicants so that it could recruit temporary foreign workers (i.e. H-1B visa workers) instead, for about 2,600 open job positions.

Source: DOJ sues Facebook for allegedly discriminating against US workers

Years ago, a law firm posted videos on Youtube of talks they had given at a conference – about how to legally not recruit U.S. workers. The videos were eventually deleted but not before others had saved them, of course. Their recommendation to employers was to meet the letter of the law by advertising a tech position in a very rural, small town newspaper – where no prospective U.S. tech workers would see the ad. Then, claim there were no U.S workers available.

Another trick was to over specify the job description – ads would list dozens of specific knowledge and skill area requirements – such that nearly no one would qualify – and probably not apply. Then the employer could say no U.S. workers were available.

Facebook is accused of employing “tricks” to meet the letter of the law in order not to hire U.S. workers. The DoJ says Facebook did this for 2,600 jobs – by hiding the open job positions so they would not be seen by prospective U.S. workers.

I saw similar discrimination from Facebook advertising.  In all the years I had been on Facebook, I never saw a job ad – not one – for a software developer. Considering I had a BS in computer science, an MS in software engineering, and an MBA, and had worked in Silicon Valley and for Microsoft, have two patents and written a dozen technical books, this seemed odd to me. I had 100% of the qualifications that were supposedly in super short supply and for which employers were desperate to hire.

Why did this happen? Probably because by the time I was on Facebook I was “too old” to work in tech and Facebook allowed advertisers to discriminate on the basis of age.  (Other research demonstrated that numerous U.S. firms were specifically running job ads targeting specific, young, age groups.) I completed my MS in software engineering at age 51 (GPA 4.0, thesis on Android and mobile power management). I have zero doubt that tech companies like Facebook play these games. No doubt what so ever.

You would think Republicans would be in support of using H-1B workers and the Democrats would be opposed. Yet Trump issued rules making use of H-1B workers harder, while the Clinton/Gore administration dramatically increased the use of H-1B workers. By the year 2000, 1 in 4 information systems jobs in the U.S. requiring a Bachelor’s degree were filled with temporary foreign workers.

Consequently, while this DoJ effort is initiated under the Trump administration, it might be dropped under a Biden/Harris administration. We have no idea where this case will go.

By EdwardM