Apple to Pay $25 Million Settlement for Hiring Discrimination Lawsuit


In historic settlement, Apple Inc. agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations by the U.S. Department of Justice that the tech giant illegally favored hiring immigrant workers over U.S. citizens and green card holders.

The DOJ launched a investigation in February 2019 on Apple’s recruiting practices for positions hired through the Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM). The PERM program allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers and sponsor them for employment-based green cards, provided that hiring a non-U.S. citizen employee does not preclude equally competent U.S. workers to obtain a similar position. The investigation found that Apple’s recruiting practices, such as not advertising PERM positions on its external employment website and requiring paper applications while allowing electronic submissions for others positions, violated PERM requirements, and discouraged qualified individuals from applying. This discriminatory pattern has resulted in a limited number of applications for PERM positions from U.S. citizens and green card holders.

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Apple is not the first major U.S. company to face an employment discrimination lawsuit from the DOJ. In 2021, a settlement was reached between Meta (formerly Facebook Inc.) and the DOJ regarding allegations that the company discriminated against U.S. workers during the PERM process. In a previous statement for Bloomberg News, Boundless CEO Xiao Wang commented on Meta’s recruiting processes and how recent hiring discrimination lawsuits reflect broader issues plaguing the business immigration system . “This case is emblematic of the broader challenges and debates surrounding immigration, labor rights and economic growth in the United States,” Wang said. “As the case progresses, it will be crucial to ensure that the discourse remains focused on creating a fair and inclusive environment for all, while promoting economic prosperity and innovation. »

Immigration experts warn that the Meta and Apple lawsuits prove that companies that rely heavily on foreign labor should expect increased scrutiny when it comes to recruiting and hiring methods. Foreign labor is often less expensive than hiring American workers, and international employees who rely on their employer for a green card may be less likely to leave the company for another position.

As part of the groundbreaking deal, Apple agreed to adjust its hiring practices, change how it advertises PERM positions, and conduct training on anti-discrimination laws.

“Creating illegal barriers that make it more difficult for someone to seek employment because of their citizenship status will not be tolerated,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division .

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