Apple to pay $25 million settlement fee to US DoJ over immigrants hiring
Apple has agreed on a $25 million settlement fee with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over claims that the tech giant illegally favored immigrant workers over U.S. citizens and green card holders for certain jobs.
In its statement, the DoJ said that Apple violated the federal law that bars discrimination based on Citizenship by sponsoring immigrant workers for green cards to come work in roles that could have been filled by U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
According to the DoJ, the jobs in question were eligible for a federal program known as the Permanent Labor Certification or PERM program, but the recruitment process used by Apple discouraged applications from eligible candidates.
To begin with, Apple did not indicate that the jobs were eligible for the program as it usually does, and the company required applicants for those jobs to mail paper applications even though it usually permits electronic applications.
The settlement is the largest ever for the Justice Department involving claims of discrimination based on citizenship. Apple will be required to pay $6.75 million in civil penalties and $18.25 million to an unspecified number of affected workers.
Speaking on the matter, Apple said that the violation was “unintentional” adding that it had established a remediation plan.
“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 said.
The DoJ has not specified the jobs in question or how Apple benefitted from sponsoring immigrants over local labor. However, in most cases, foreign labor is usually cheaper than US labor.
Moreover, immigrants who rely on their employers for green card sponsorship are seen as less likely to leave for a different job.