Apple has agreed to settle claims made by the U.S. Department of Justice that the company had illegally favored hiring immigrant workers over citizens or green card holders.
Laws surrounding hiring practices and labor discrimination are complex, and Apple claims to have unintentionally not been following a certain standard. The company is known for hiring a diverse workforce, but the latest violation is due to inadequate attempts to hire permanent citizens.
According to a report from Reuters, Apple will pay $25 million to settle claims made by the US DOJ. The claim asserts Apple illegally favored hiring immigrant workers over US citizens and green card holders for certain jobs.
A program called the permanent labor certification, or PERM program, requires companies to prioritize and hire permanent residents. Only after a certification process with the Department of Labor and US Citizenship and Immigration Services is complete, in which a company proves there aren't enough US workers available, can companies like Apple prioritize hiring immigrants.
"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.," Apple said.
The DOJ says Apple did not advertise job openings that were eligible for PERM on its website as it had for other positions. Apple also required paper applications by mail for the positions in question.
"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 DOJ said about its claim.
It was not disclosed which jobs were affected by the poor recruitment procedures or how Apple benefited from the situation. Apple is required to pay $6.75 million in civil penalties and $18.25 million to an unspecified number of affected workers, plus it will fix its recruiting to align with PERM standards.