Apple has been compelled to pay $25 million as part of a settlement to address allegations made by the Justice Department under President Biden’s administration. These allegations revolve around the company’s purported favoritism of immigrant workers over American citizens and green card holders for specific job positions.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) asserted that the tech conglomerate failed to actively recruit U.S. citizens or individuals with permanent residency status for positions that qualified for the permanent labor certification or PERM program. This program allows employers to support immigrant workers in obtaining green cards.
PERM positions are typically utilized to recruit international graduates from U.S. universities.
Apple’s practice was in violation of federal law, which prohibits discrimination based on citizenship.
Furthermore, Apple refrained from posting job vacancies that qualified for the program on its website, a standard practice for other job positions. In a departure from its usual electronic application process, the tech company insisted that applicants send in paper applications.
In the settlement statement, DOJ says, “These less effective recruitment procedures deterred U.S. applicants from applying and nearly always resulted in zero or very few mailed applications that Apple considered for PERM-related job positions, which allowed Apple to fill the positions with temporary visa holders.”
The Department of Justice issued a statement declaring that this settlement represents the most substantial one to date for the DOJ in cases related to discrimination based on citizenship.
The settlement mandates that the iPhone manufacturer pay $6.75 million in civil penalties in addition to $18.25 million allocated for an unspecified number of impacted workers.
WTH Tim Cook
Apple agrees to $25 million settlement over U.S. immigrant hiring practices pic.twitter.com/8L7fh3eFHP
— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) November 10, 2023
Apple contends what they did was “unintentional.” As per the agreement, Apple disputes the allegations and maintains that it adhered to the relevant Department of Labor regulations. The company further claims that any shortcomings were the consequence of mistakes rather than acts of discrimination.
In a released statement, the company said, “We have implemented a robust remediation plan to comply with the requirements of various government agencies as we continue to hire American workers and grow in the U.S.”
Apple has further committed to synchronizing its recruitment practices for PERM-designated positions with its standard hiring protocols. Additionally, it will be mandated to execute more expansive recruitment efforts and provide training to its employees regarding anti-discrimination laws.