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Apple reaches settlement with DOJ for allegations of discriminating against American workers

Apple will have to pay $25 million to settle claims by the Department of Justice, a report from Reuters says.

The DOJ said in a statement that Apple illegally favored immigrant workers over US workers, in violation of a federal law that bars discrimination based on citizenship.

The DOJ claims that this current settlement is the largest ever that’s related to claims of discrimination based on citizenship. Apple will have to pay $6.75 million in civil penalties and $18.25 million to an unspecified number of affected workers.

There’s a statement from Apple, saying they’ve “unintentionally not been following the DOJ 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 U.S.,” the company said.

The problem lies with the PERM program – long story short, this federal government program is designed to make it easier for US companies to hire foreign workers who are in the country on temporary visas. In order to ensure that foreign workers are not taking jobs which could be done by US citizens and existing permanent residents, companies that are in the PERM program have to advertise the jobs within the US in the same way they would with any other role. Thus, using a foreign workforce is acceptable only when the recruitment process has failed to find suitable US workers.

According to the DOJ, Apple did not advertise job openings that were eligible for the PERM program on its website. Then Apple required applicants for those jobs to mail paper applications even 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.

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