On Thursday, a US appeals court reinstated a software engineer's proposed class action lawsuit against Meta Platforms, alleging that the company declined to hire him in favor of employing foreign workers who receive lower wages. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, ruled 2-1 that a law from the Civil War era, which prohibits discrimination in contracts based on 'alienage,' also applies to bias against US citizens. This ruling overturns a previous dismissal by a California federal judge of a lawsuit filed by Purushothaman Rajaram, a naturalized US citizen who claims Meta favors cheaper visa holders over American workers. Rajaram aims to represent a class of thousands of workers. Meta, the owner of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and Rajaram's legal representatives have yet to comment. Meta has previously denied any wrongdoing in court filings, stating that Rajaram failed to demonstrate intentional discrimination against U.S. workers. The 9th Circuit had not previously ruled on whether Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 protects U.S. citizens from hiring discrimination. The only other appeals court to address this issue, the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit, ruled in 1986 that the law did not apply to U.S. citizens. The differing opinions from the 9th Circuit increase the likelihood of the U.S. Supreme Court reviewing the case if Meta chooses to appeal.