Apple to pay millions in settlement over discrimination allegations

Cupertino, California - Technology giant Apple agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations that it engaged in discriminatory hiring practices, the US Justice Department (DOJ) said on Thursday.

Tech giant Apple has agreed to pay $25 million in a settlement over discriminatory hiring practice allegations.
Tech giant Apple has agreed to pay $25 million in a settlement over discriminatory hiring practice allegations.  © Nicholas Kamm / AFP

Under the agreement, Apple will pay up to $25 million in backpay and civil penalties to settle allegations that the company illegally discriminated in hiring and recruitment against US citizens, as well as certain non-US citizens whose permission to live in and work in the country does not expire.

The settlement resolves the DOJ's determination that the company violated anti-discrimination requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) during its recruitment for positions falling under the permanent labor certification program (PERM).

The PERM program is administered by the US Department of Labor and the US Department of Homeland Security. It allows employers to sponsor workers for lawful permanent resident status in the US after completing recruitment and meeting other program requirements.

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Any US employer that utilizes the PERM program cannot illegally discriminate in hiring or recruitment based on citizenship or immigration status.

Apple accused of discriminatory hiring practices

The DOJ's investigation, which started in February 2019, found that Apple did not advertise positions the company sought to fill through the PERM program on its external job website, even though its standard practice was to post other job positions on this website.

It also required all PERM position applicants to mail paper applications, even though the company permitted electronic applications for other positions.

In some instances, Apple did not consider certain applications for PERM positions from Apple employees if those applications were submitted electronically, as opposed to paper applications submitted through the mail.

These less effective recruitment procedures nearly always resulted in few or no applications to PERM positions from applicants whose permission to work does not expire.

Cover photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP

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