The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Thursday that Apple Inc. has agreed to pay $25 million to resolve allegations that the corporation had improperly given preference to immigrant workers for specific jobs over citizens and holders of green cards.
According to a statement from the Justice Department, Apple violated a federal law that forbids discrimination based on citizenship by not hiring U.S. citizens or permanent residents for positions that qualified for a government programme that allows firms to sponsor foreign workers for green cards.
According to the Justice Department, this settlement represents the biggest one it has ever reached over claims of citizenship-based discrimination. In addition to paying $18.25 million to an unidentified number of impacted workers, Apple must also pay $6.75 million in civil penalties.
Apple said it was "unintentionally not been following the DOJ standard."
“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 company told Reuters.
As it regularly does for other positions, the Justice Department claims that Apple failed to post job postings that qualified for the permanent labour certification, or PERM, programme on its website. Additionally, the department stated that although the corporation typically accepts electronic applications, it required applicants for certain positions to mail paper applications.
"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 department said in its statement.
The recruitment processes may have benefited Apple, but the Justice Department did not say specific Apple employment were impacted by them.
Hiring foreign labour is frequently less expensive than hiring American workers, and immigrants who depend on their employers to sponsor their green card are thought to be less likely to change jobs.
In exchange for the payment, Apple also committed to matching its regular hiring procedures for PERM positions. According to the settlement, the business will have to hire additional people and provide them with anti-discrimination legal training.