November 13, 2023
On November 9, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had reached a Settlement Agreement with Apple, Inc. (“Apple”) to resolve allegations that Apple illegally discriminated in hiring and recruitment against U.S. citizens and certain non-U.S. citizens. The Settlement Agreement follows an investigation of Apple’s recruitment procedures under the U.S. Department of Labor’s Permanent Labor Certification (“PERM”) program, which allows employers to sponsor foreign-born employees for lawful permanent residence.
As part of the PERM program, employers are required to conduct various recruitment measures to determine if there are qualified and willing applicants for the sponsored employee’s position who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, refugees or asylees. According to the Department of Justice, Apple “engaged in a pattern or practice of citizenship status discrimination in recruitment for positions it hired through PERM, and that the company’s unlawful discrimination prejudiced U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents, and those granted asylum or refugee status.” Specifically, the Department of Justice’s investigation revealed that Apple did not advertise positions it sought to fill through the PERM program on its external job website. Furthermore, Apple required applicants for PERM positions to mail paper applications and failed to consider applications that were submitted electronically. According to the Department of Justice, these “less effective recruitment practices deterred protected workers from applying to positions that Apple preferred to fill instead with PERM beneficiaries.”
Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement, Apple is required to pay up to $25 million in backpay and civil penalties and is also required to ensure that its recruitment for PERM positions more closely matches its standard recruitment practices. If you or anyone you know would like to consult with one of our attorneys on the above, please fill out our consultation request form.