Apple Inks $25M Deal With DOJ

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Apple Inks $25M Deal With DOJ

In a legal saga that sent shockwaves through Silicon Valley, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) declared a groundbreaking settlement on Thursday, revealing a $25 million deal with tech behemoth Apple Inc. The settlement arises from allegations of discriminatory hiring practices, steering the spotlight on the company’s employment maneuvers.

DOJ Unveils Discriminatory Hiring Practices

The DOJ investigation, spanning January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019, unearthed startling revelations about Apple’s hiring practices. The tech titan stands accused of favoring temporary workers with visas over qualified U.S. citizens or noncitizens with valid work permits. The Justice Department asserts that Apple’s actions violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, erecting unjust hurdles for job seekers based on their citizenship status.

Apple Inks $25M Deal With DOJ : Unveiling Apple’s Tactics

The investigation disclosed that Apple failed to advertise positions within the permanent labor certification program, known as PERM, on its external job portal. Instead, the company allegedly required PERM applicants to submit paper applications, a departure from the standard protocol for other positions. These unconventional tactics allegedly skewed the selection process in favor of temporary workers, marking a departure from industry norms.

Record-Breaking Settlement and DOJ’s Stand

The $25 million settlement stands as the largest recovery under the DOJ’s anti-discrimination provision. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division emphasized, “Creating unlawful barriers that make it harder for someone to seek a job because of their citizenship status will not be tolerated.” The accord demands Apple to pay $6.75 million in civil penalties and establish an $18.25 million back-pay fund for victims of discrimination.

Apple Inks $25M Deal With DOJ : Apple’s Pledge to Reform

The settlement not only carries a hefty financial burden for Apple but also mandates significant changes in its hiring practices. Apple commits to post PERM positions on its external website and accept electronic applications, aligning with industry standards. The tech giant, employing over 90,000 individuals in the U.S., issued a statement acknowledging unintentional deviations from DOJ standards and outlined a comprehensive remediation plan.

Tech Industry in Legal Crosshairs

This legal tussle mirrors previous industry skirmishes, with Facebook settling for $14.25 million in 2021 over similar allegations. The DOJ’s crackdown underscores a growing commitment to curb discriminatory employment practices in the tech sector. A mistrial in a class action against Cognizant Technology Solutions further highlights the industry-wide struggle against discriminatory practices.

Closing the Chapter: Apple’s Unintended Deviation

As the curtain falls on this legal drama, Apple stands at the intersection of justice and corporate accountability. The settlement, while not an admission of guilt, serves as a stark reminder that even tech giants are not immune to legal scrutiny. The broader implications of this settlement reverberate across an industry grappling with diversity and inclusion challenges.