Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) has reached a $25 million settlement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to resolve allegations of favoring immigrant workers over US citizens and green card holders for specific jobs.
The DOJ contends that Apple violated federal law by neglecting to recruit American citizens or permanent residents for positions eligible for a national program facilitating employers to sponsor immigrant workers for green cards.
The $25 million settlement marks the largest ever for the DOJ in cases involving claims of discrimination based on citizenship. The agreement mandates Apple to pay $6.75 million in civil penalties and allocate $18.25 million to an unspecified number of affected workers.
Apple Unintentional Violation
In response to the settlement, Apple released a statement acknowledging that it had “unintentionally not been following the DOJ standard.” The tech giant emphasized that it has implemented a comprehensive remediation plan to comply with the requirements of various government agencies while reiterating its commitment to hiring American workers and supporting growth in the US.
The Justice Department asserted that Apple failed to advertise job openings eligible for the permanent labor certification (PERM) program on its website, as is customary for other positions.
Additionally, applicants for these positions were required to submit paper applications, departing from Apple’s usual practice of allowing electronic submissions. The DOJ contended that these less effective recruitment procedures led to minimal or no applications for PERM positions from candidates whose work permits stayed the same.
While the Justice Department did not specify which Apple jobs were affected, it highlighted concerns that foreign labor can be more cost-effective than hiring US workers.
Immigrants reliant on employer-sponsored green card sponsorship are perceived as less likely to change jobs, offering potential benefits for companies. The settlement aims to rectify these alleged discriminatory practices.
In addition to the financial settlement, Apple has committed to aligning its recruiting processes for PERM jobs with its standard practices. This includes conducting more extensive recruitment efforts and providing anti-discrimination training to employees.
The resolution underscores the importance of fair and equitable hiring practices, especially regarding immigration-related employment opportunities.