Apple has reached a significant settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination. Under the terms of the settlement, Apple has agreed to pay up to $25 million to address the discriminatory practices and implement changes to its hiring procedures. (via. The Verge)
The DOJ’s investigation found that Apple violated the Immigration and Nationality Act by failing to adequately advertise permanent labor certification program (PERM) positions on its website. Instead, the company relied on less effective recruitment methods, such as requiring mailed applications, which disproportionately impacted U.S. citizens, U.S. residents, and refugees or asylum seekers. As a result, these individuals faced greater challenges in applying for PERM positions.
While Apple maintains that it didn’t intentionally engage in discriminatory practices, the company has acknowledged that its PERM recruitment procedures weren’t in compliance with federal law. To address these concerns, Apple has agreed to pay up to $18.25 million to create a backpay fund for affected individuals who were unfairly denied employment opportunities. Additionally, Apple will pay $6.75 million in civil penalties.
Beyond the financial penalties, the settlement mandates significant changes to Apple’s PERM recruitment practices. The company must now conduct more expansive recruitment efforts by posting PERM positions on its job website and accepting applications digitally. These changes aim to ensure that all qualified individuals have equal opportunities to apply for PERM positions, regardless of their immigration status.
Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz stated in an emailed statement to The Verge, “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.”
In addition to the settlement with Apple, the DOJ has also taken action against other tech companies for alleged hiring discrimination. In 2022, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against SpaceX, alleging that the company discriminated against U.S. citizens and permanent residents by refusing to hire asylum seekers and refugees. However, the case was dismissed due to procedural issues.