Tech giant Facebook was recently in the news for allegedly breaking the law by offering permanent jobs to workers with H-1B visas. According to the U.S. immigration laws already in place, Facebook is required to give priority to U.S. workers before granting permanent jobs to visa holders. However, there are exceptions.
H-1B programs are designed to allow foreign individuals to work in the United States for three years. This visa can be renewed once, but after that, the employer has to ask to give the visa holders a permanent job. They can do so under the PERM certification program through the U.S. Department of Labor.
Facebook allegedly crossed the line
According to the Justice Department’s lawsuit, Facebook violated the law by using unusual hiring practices. It alleges that Facebook placed its legally mandated ads, which are required by PERM, in printed publications and required any candidates to apply via the mail. Other jobs that were promoted were advertised online and allowed anyone who wanted to apply to do so online.
The lawsuit went on to explain that there were 1,128 jobs posted for the company between July 2018 and April 2019. Of those, 81% never received an applicant. It goes on to allege that U.S. applicants were denied access to those jobs that were PERM-related positions. The DOJ also argued that jobs that had been previously filled with visa holders should have been filled by U.S. nationals.
For people holding an H-1B visa, it’s important to be sure that you do apply correctly and that you are thorough with your application. Being qualified is a necessity, especially if an employer is questioned about their hiring practices. An attorney familiar with immigration policies can help you understand this complicated area of the law.