The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday that Apple will pay $25 million to settle claims that the tech giant participated in discriminatory hiring and recruitment practices on the basis of citizenship.
The settlement agreement resolves the determination by the DOJ’s Immigration and Employee Rights Section that Apple violated 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(A)(1)(B), an anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that prohibits hiring, recruiting or discharging an individual because of their citizenship status. Specifically, after conducting an investigation launched in February 2019, the DOJ alleged that:
Apple followed different procedures designed to favor the temporary visa holder and deter US applicants (which include US citizens, US nationals, lawful permanent residents, and those granted asylum or refugee status). Specifically, Apple did not advertise positions on its external job website and required all applicants to mail paper applications, as opposed to allowing electronic applications…deterr[ing] US applicants from applying.
While Apple asserted that the settlement does not constitute an admission of any unlawful activity, the agreement resolves all pending matters between the DOJ and Apple relating to the investigation. Apple’s $25 million payment includes civil penalties and backpay to compensate those harmed by the alleged discriminatory practices. According to Apple’s Business Conduct Policy, the company “is dedicated to maintaining a creative, diverse, inclusive, and supportive work environment, and does not tolerate discrimination or harassment of employees or non-employees.”
The settlement marks the DOJ’s largest award ever recovered under the INA. “Creating unlawful barriers that make it harder for someone to seek a job because of their citizenship status will not be tolerated,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.