The U.S. Justice Department has secured an agreement with Apple to resolve allegations that Apple illegally discriminated in hiring and recruitment against U.S. citizens and certain non-U.S. citizens whose permission to live in and work in the United States does not expire.
Under the agreement, Apple is required to pay up to $25 million in backpay and civil penalties, the largest award that the department has recovered under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality act (INA).
The DOJ $25 million agreement requires Apple to pay $6.75 million in civil penalties and create an $18.25 million backpay fund for potential discrimination claimants.
“The agreement also requires Apple to ensure that its recruitment for PERM positions more closely matches its standard recruitment practices,”
“The settlement agreement resolves the department’s determination that Apple violated the INA’s anti-discrimination requirements during Apple’s recruitment for positions falling under the permanent labor certification program,” according to a DOJ statement.
The Department of Justice alleged that Apple used “less effective recruitment practices” and that this deterred U.S. workers from applying for the positions.
“Specifically, the department’s investigation found that Apple did not advertise positions Apple 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,” according to DOJ.
The Department of Justice alleged the company did not consider some applications for PERM positions submitted electronically by Apple employees.
The settlement requires Apple “to conduct more expansive recruitment for all PERM positions, including posting PERM positions on its external job website, accepting electronic applications, and enabling applicants to PERM positions to be searchable in its applicant tracking system.”
The Department of Justice said Apple already has implemented some of the measures in the agreement, and the department will monitor the company for three years.
Despite the settlement, Apple did not agree with DOJ’s characterization.
“Apple contests the accusation, according to the agreement, and says that it believes it was following the appropriate Department of Labour regulations,”
“Apple also contests that any failures were the result of inadvertent errors and not discrimination, according to the agreement.”
“Apple proudly employs more than 90,000 people in the United States and continues to invest nationwide, creating millions of jobs,”
“When we realized we had unintentionally not been following the DOJ standard, we agreed to a settlement addressing their concerns. 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.”