Apple agrees to pay $25 million over hiring of immigrants

by | Dec 1, 2023 | Firm News, Immigration Explained

In a recent development, technology giant Apple has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, agreeing to pay $25 million to resolve allegations of favoring immigrant workers over U.S. citizens and green card holders for specific job positions, as announced by the agency in November.

According to the Justice Department’s statement, Apple was accused of neglecting the recruitment of U.S. citizens or permanent residents for roles eligible for a federal program facilitating employers to sponsor immigrant workers for green cards. This practice was deemed a violation of federal law prohibiting discrimination based on citizenship.

This settlement stands as a record for the Justice Department, marking the largest-ever resolution involving claims of citizenship-based discrimination. The terms of the settlement mandate Apple to disburse $6.75 million in civil penalties, with an additional $18.25 million allocated to an unspecified number of affected workers.

In response, Apple acknowledged unintentional non-compliance with the Department of Justice’s standards, emphasizing their commitment to rectify the situation. The company stated that it has implemented a comprehensive remediation plan to meet the requirements of various government agencies while ensuring the continued hiring of American workers and fostering growth within the U.S.

According to the Justice Department, Apple’s lapse included failing to advertise job openings eligible for the permanent labor certification or PERM program – a federal initiative allowing immigrant workers to be sponsored for green cards. Unlike their standard practice of advertising positions on their website, Apple did not publicize these specific job opportunities. Additionally, the company required applicants for these roles to submit paper applications, deviating from the usual electronic application process.

The Justice Department highlighted that these less effective recruitment procedures often resulted in minimal or no applications for PERM positions from individuals whose work permissions do not have an expiration date.

While the settlement did not specify the affected Apple jobs or the advantages the company gained from these recruitment practices, it shed light on the potential cost savings associated with hiring foreign labor and the perceived stability of immigrants relying on employer-sponsored green card sponsorship.

In addition to the financial settlement, Apple committed to aligning its recruiting practices for PERM jobs with its customary procedures. This includes implementing more extensive recruitment efforts and providing training to employees on anti-discrimination laws, as outlined in the settlement agreement.