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Apple agrees to $25 million settlement for 'unintentionally' favoring immigrant workers over US citizens
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Apple agrees to $25 million settlement for 'unintentionally' favoring immigrant workers over US citizens

Apple agreed to a $25 million settlement over claims made by the United States Department of Justice that the technology company illegally favored hiring immigrants over U.S. citizens and green card holders, the DOJ reported Thursday.

A press release from the DOJ revealed that Apple reached a settlement over accusations that it illegally discriminated against individuals based on their citizenship status in its hiring and recruitment process.

Apple agreed to pay $25 million in back pay and civil penalties. According to the DOJ, the settlement is the "largest award that the department has recovered under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality act."

The department launched an investigation into the company in 2019 that found "Apple had engaged in a pattern or practice of citizenship status discrimination in recruitment for positions it hired through [the permanent labor certification program]." PERM allows employers like Apple to sponsor workers for lawful permanent resident status. However, companies are prohibited from discriminating against an individual based on their citizenship or immigration status.

The agency's investigation found that Apple did not advertise positions on its external job site that it aimed to fill through the PERM program. The department noted that Apple's standard practice was to post other open job positions on its website. Additionally, those seeking a PERM position were required to submit their applications via mail, while other Apple positions could be filled out electronically.

"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," the DOJ said.

It is unclear which job positions were affected.

As a part of the settlement agreement, Apply must post open PERM positions on its job website, accept electronic applications, and ensure PERM applicants are searchable in its tracking system.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division stated, "Creating unlawful barriers that make it harder for someone to seek a job because of their citizenship status will not be tolerated."

"This resolution reflects the Civil Rights Division's commitment to ending illegal discriminatory employment practices," Clarke added.

Apple said in a recent statement that it had "unintentionally not been following the DOJ standard," Reuters reported.

"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.," the tech company stated.

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