Apple Pays $25 Million to Settle Claims It Discriminated Against Americans in Favor of Hiring Foreign Workers

Tim "Apple" Cook Flashes V for Victory
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Apple has agreed to pay a  paltry $25 million settlement to resolve allegations of discriminating against U.S. citizens and legal residents in its hiring practices. The DOJ charged the Silicon Valley giant with giving preference to foreign workers by failing to advertise open positions on its recruitment website in a scheme to ensure it could fill vacancies with foreign workers it could sponsor to enter the country.

Engadget reports that Apple has settled claims brought by the DOJ, agreeing to pay $25 million over allegations of discriminating against U.S. citizens and permanent residents during its hiring process. This case is particularly noteworthy as it is the largest settlement the DOJ has obtained under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, but even taking that into consideration, it is less than a drop in the bucket for Apple, which enjoyed profits of about $100 billion in 2022.

Tim Cook speaks in China

Tim Cook speaks in China ( NG HAN GUAN /Getty)

The dispute centered around the Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM), a federal program that allows U.S. employers to sponsor foreign workers for permanent residency. Under this program, employers are required to ensure open advertisement of job positions to all potential applicants, irrespective of citizenship status.

However, Apple was accused of failing to meet these requirements. The company did not list PERM positions on its recruitment website and made the application process more challenging for these roles by requiring paper applications, a step not required for other non-PERM positions. This led to a significant reduction in applications from U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

As part of the settlement, Apple will pay $6.75 million in civil penalties and create an $18.25 million fund to compensate victims of this discrimination. Apple’s response acknowledged the oversight and the company’s supposed commitment to compliance with government requirements and to continuing its significant employment in the U.S.

This case comes amidst broader concerns about employment practices in the tech industry. Many have argued that federal agencies tend to favor large corporations, citing cases like Facebook’s settlement over similar allegations. Despite paying fines, these companies often do not admit legal wrongdoing, leading to criticisms of the penalties as being insufficient.

As Breitbart News’ Neil Munro documented in 2021, fines and other penalties are often so insignificant for the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe that companies like Apple and Facebook consider them a minor cost of doing business:

“It’s not even a slap on the wrist” for Facebook, said Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers. “What the Department of Justice has said, whether they intended to say this or not, is that [anti-American] country of origin discrimination is fine …[because] if you get caught, the penalties assessed are de minimus,” he added.

“Everyone involved … knows that many, probably most employers, game the system to exclude qualified US workers from ever getting a shot at the open position,” tweeted Ron Hira, a professor at Howard University. The small fine and legal settlements do “nothing to fix the widespread scamming of the high-skilled immigration process,” he said.

The alleged discrimination was conducted while Facebook executives were hiring foreign visa workers for 2,600 permanent jobs that would provide them with green cards. If the Americans had won the jobs, many of Facebook’s foreign visa workers would have been sent back to their home countries.

Furthermore, there is growing concern over the systemic issues in the tech industry’s employment practices. The use of visa worker programs, such as H-1B and L-1 visas, has been criticized for contributing to a form of structural discrimination against American workers. Critics argue that these programs enable companies to hire foreign graduates with the promise of green cards, creating a labor force that competes unfairly against U.S. graduates. This practice is seen as contributing to lower wages and reduced job opportunities for American workers in the tech sector.

Critics also highlight the broader impact of these practices on the U.S. professional class. They argue that the widespread use of foreign contract workers, often erroneously labeled as “high-skilled,” from lower-grade colleges, undermines the employment prospects of U.S. graduates. This situation is compounded by allegations that foreign-born managers in some Fortune 500 companies favor hiring from their own ethnic or regional groups, further marginalizing American workers.

Read more at Engadget here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.


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