Apple has agreed to a settlement agreement with the U.S. Justice Department following claims the company hired immigrant workers over U.S. citizens and green card holders as part of a pattern of “discriminatory” employment practices.
The company will fork over $25 million following a lengthy investigation into the Big Tech giant and what the DOJ described as a pattern of violating Labor Department processes that allow some companies to hire immigrants if there is a shortage of adequate candidates.
According to the settlement agreement, Apple was informed in 2019 that it was being investigated for violating permanent labor certification guidelines on international hiring.
Apple agreed to pay $25 million to settle a Department of Justice case alleging it illegally discriminated against US citizens in hiring https://t.co/g5q93GKDeV
— Bloomberg Technology (@technology) November 9, 2023
The investigation was lanced “to determine whether Apple engaged in discriminatory recruitment and hiring practices related to permanent labor certification (‘PERM’) based on citizenship status in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provision,” the DOJ said.
The department added its investigation found “reasonable cause” that Apple “engaged in a pattern or practice of discriminatory PERM recruitment, which is part of the hiring process, based on citizenship status” from 2018 to 2019.
The DOJ further alleged: “Specifically, Apple preferred workers holding temporary employment visas for PERM related positions based on their citizenship status instead of qualified and available U.S. applicants…”
Per the agreement, Apple deviated from standard employment practices in regard to posting job openings and instead offered temporary visa workers a way to apply and obtain jobs through paper applications covertly.
The jobs that were available were not made public to U.S. citizens or permanent residents as the company favored overseas labor.
In some cases, internal employees were also allegedly not made aware of opportunities for open jobs.
“Apple followed different procedures designed to favor the temporary visa holder and deter U.S. applicants” when filling vacant positions, the federal government alleged.
“These less effective recruitment procedures deterred U.S. applicants from applying and nearly always resulted in zero or very few mailed applications that Apple considered for PERM-related job positions, which allowed Apple to fill the positions with temporary visa holders,” the DOJ claimed.
Apple denied its failure to adhere to Department of Labor guidelines was intentional.
In a statement obtained by Reuters, the company said it had “unintentionally not been following the DOJ standard.”
Apple further stated it had taken measures to ensure it would comply with federal labor laws in the future.
“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 California-based company said.
According to the settlement agreement, Apple will not declare it violated labor guidelines intentionally but will pay a $6.75 million fine.
Apple will pay workers who were affected by its hiring practices a total of $18.25 million.
According to the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs, this settlement is “the largest award that the department has recovered under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality act.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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