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Apple Inc. has agreed to a $25 million settlement with the US Department of Justice over allegations of discrimination in its hiring practices, specifically against US citizens and permanent residents.
The company was accused of displaying “a pattern or practice of citizenship status discrimination” while recruiting for positions through the permanent labor certification (PERM) program, which facilitates employer sponsorship for permanent resident status.
The Justice Department highlighted that Apple failed to list PERM program positions on its external job website and required mailed-in paper applications, resulting in limited or no submissions from ineligible candidates.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke emphasized the seriousness of the issue, stating, “Creating unlawful barriers that make it harder for someone to seek a job because of their citizenship status will not be tolerated.” She further reiterated the Civil Rights Division’s dedication to eradicating illegal discriminatory employment practices.
Under the terms of the settlement, Apple will pay $6.75 million in fines and $18.25 million in back pay. The company is also mandated to post program-eligible jobs on its external website, accept electronic applications, and ensure these positions are searchable in its applicant tracking system.
Despite the settlement, Apple maintains that any failures in adhering to program requirements were unintentional and not a result of deliberate discrimination.