Apple illegally discriminated against US citizens and other US residents in its hiring and recruitment practices for certain types of positions that went to foreign workers, the US Department of Justice said yesterday, ArsTechnica reported.
Apple discriminated “against US citizens and certain non-US citizens whose permission to live in and work in the United States does not expire,” the agency said. The $25 million payment was called the largest ever collected by the Justice Department under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Apple is required to pay $6.75 million in civil penalties and create an $18.25 million fund to provide back pay to those harmed by its hiring practices. Apple did not admit guilt in the settlement, but the company acknowledged in a statement that it had “unintentionally not been following the DOJ standard,” according to Reuters.
The Department of Justice posted a press release titled: “Justice Department Secures $25 Million Landmark Agreement with Apple to Resolve Employment Discrimination Allegations Based on Citizenship Status”. From the press release:
The Justice Department announced today that it has secured a landmark agreement with Apple Inc. (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 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).
“Creating unlawful barriers that make it harder for someone to seek a job because of their citizenship status will not be tolerated,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This resolution reflects that Civil Rights Division’s commitment to ending illegal discriminatory employment 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 (PERM). The PERM program is administrated by the Department of Labor an the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
It allows employers to sponsor workers for lawful permanent resident status in the United States after completing recruitment and meeting other program requirements. Any U.S. employer that utilizes PERM program cannot legally discriminate in hiring or recruitment based on citizenship or immigration status…
The Hill reported that, according to the Department of Justice, Apple did not advertise positions that it sought to hire through the PERM program on its external job website and required candidates to mail in paper applications, often resulting in fewer or no submissions by those who would be eligible for the program.
According to The Hill, the settlement agreement that Apple maintains it “adhered to the recruitment steps” required by the program and “any alleged failures were the result of inadvertent error and not intentional discrimination.”
In my opinion, a company as large as Apple should have known better than to (intentionally or unintentionally) discriminate against workers. As a result, Apple now has to pay a lot of money to fix the problems it caused to potential workers.