Apple settling claims it illegally favored immigrant workers in hiring for $25M

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Apple has agreed to pay $25 million to settle claims that it discriminated against U.S. citizens and permanent residents in hiring for certain positions, the Justice Department announced on Thursday.

The tech giant allegedly engaged in “a pattern or practice of citizenship status discrimination” in recruiting for positions through the permanent labor certification program (PERM), which allows employers to sponsor workers for permanent resident status.

According to the Justice Department, 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 not be eligible for the program.

“Creating unlawful barriers that make it harder for someone to seek a job because of their citizenship status will not be tolerated,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in a statement.

“This resolution reflects the Civil Rights Division’s commitment to ending illegal discriminatory employment practices,” she added.

The company will pay $6.75 million in penalties and $18.25 million in backpay and will be required to post the program-eligible positions on its external job website, allow for electronic applications and make the positions searchable in its applicant tracking system, the Justice Department said.

However, the settlement agreement notes 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.”

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