Apple favoured immigrants over US citizens for jobs — now it must pay $25m settlement
Apple will pay $25m (R467.1m) to settle claims by the US department of justice that the company illegally favoured immigrant workers over US citizens and green card holders for certain jobs, the agency said on Thursday.
The department said Apple did not recruit US citizens or permanent residents for jobs eligible for a federal programme, allowing employers to sponsor immigrant workers for green cards, in violation of a federal law that bars discrimination based on citizenship.
The settlement is the largest ever for the department involving claims of discrimination based on citizenship, the agency said. It requires Apple to pay $6.75m (R126.1m) in civil penalties and $18.25m (R341.1m) to an unspecified number of affected workers.
Apple said it had “unintentionally not been following the [department] standard”.
“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 US,” the company said.
According to the department, Apple did not advertise job openings eligible for the programme, known as the permanent labour certification or PERM programme, on its website as it routinely does for other positions. And the company required applicants for those jobs to mail paper applications though it usually permits electronic applications, the department said.
“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 department said.
It did not specify which Apple jobs were affected by the recruitment procedures or how Apple may have benefited from them.
Foreign labour can often be cheaper than hiring US workers and immigrants who rely on their employers for green card sponsorship are seen as less likely to leave for a different job.
With the payout, Apple agreed to align its recruiting for PERM jobs with its normal practices. The company will be required to conduct more expansive recruitment and train employees on anti-discrimination laws, according to the settlement.
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