Apple Ordered to Pay $25 Million Settlement Over Immigrant Hiring

( – The nation continues to struggle with an unprecedented number of immigrants entering the country. Making matters worse, some US-based companies seek out workers from other countries to reduce the bottom line of their payroll expenditures. Apple Inc. recently agreed to pay a $25 million settlement over its unlawful hiring practices.

On November 9, the US Department of Justice issued a press release detailing its landmark agreement with Apple. The Big Tech company faced mounting allegations that it discriminated against US citizens through its illegal recruitment and hiring practices. Likewise, Apple’s actions adversely impacted certain non-US citizens whose permission to work and live in the United States doesn’t expire.

Justice Department officials formally accused Apple of violating portions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) covering anti-discrimination. The company allegedly created “unlawful barriers” for Americans seeking a job with the company by failing to adhere to the INA’s requirements under the Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM).

The US Department of Labor and the US Department of Homeland Security oversees PERM. The program is designed to allow companies to sponsor workers for permanent lawful resident status once they hire them and the hopeful citizens complete other PERM requirements.

PERM prohibits program participants from illegally discriminating in their hiring and recruitment efforts based on an individual’s immigration or citizenship status. However, DOJ officials alleged that “Apple engaged in a pattern or practice” of discrimination against US citizens and other certain non-citizens, like green card holders, by giving preferential treatment to immigrant workers.

Kristen Clark, the Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, stated that the government wouldn’t tolerate any effort to create “unlawful barriers” for prospective new hires based on their citizenship status. She also noted that Apple’s agreement to pay up to $25 million in civil penalties and backpay reflected her division’s commitment to “ending illegal, discriminatory employment practices.”

Apple’s agreement is the largest award ever recovered by the DOJ under the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.

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