The Department of Justice alleged Apple violated anti-discrimination laws when hiring for its permanent labor certification program.
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Apple has agreed to pay up to $25 million to settle claims that it engaged in hiring discrimination. On Thursday, the Department of Justice announced that $18.25 million will go toward creating a backpay fund for affected victims, while the remaining $6.75 million is in civil penalties.
The DOJ found that Apple violated the Immigration and Nationality Act when recruiting through a permanent labor certification program (PERM), which lets companies hire foreign workers permanently in the US. When recruiting workers for this program, the DOJ says Apple didn’t advertise openings on its website “even though its standard practice was to post other job positions on this website.”
The DOJ also found that Apple only accepted PERM position applications through the mail and “did not consider certain applications” from existing Apple employees if they were sent electronically. “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 DOJ says.
Apple denies engaging in illegal hiring practices in the terms of the settlement. “When we realized we had unintentionally not been following the DOJ standard, we agreed to a settlement addressing their concerns,” Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz said in an emailed statement to The Verge. “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 up to $25 million fine, the DOJ requires that Apple “conduct more expansive recruitment for all PERM positions” by posting PERM positions on its job website and accepting applications digitally. The DOJ says Apple has already addressed some of these issues.