Washington, Social media giant Facebook has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $4.75 million, including up to $9.5 million to eligible victims of the company’s alleged discrimination, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a release.

“Under the DOJ settlement, Facebook will pay a civil penalty of $4.75 million to the United States, pay up to $9.5 million to eligible victims of Facebook’s alleged discrimination, and train its employees on the anti-discrimination requirements of the INA [Immigration and Nationality Act],” the release said.

The Justice Department said the civil penalty and backpay to victims marks the largest fine and monetary award its Civil Rights division has ever recovered in the 35-year history of the US anti-discrimination law.

Facebook made separate settlement agreements with the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor, the release said. The settlements resolve claims that Facebook often refused to hire US workers and only hired temporary visa holders from January 2018 to September 2019 through the potential abuse of the Labor Department’s permanent labor certification program, which allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States, the release said.

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Facebook in December 2020 alleging that Facebook intentionally discriminated against US workers based on their citizenship or immigration status, which violates a US anti-discrimination law, the release added.

(EW correspondent)