Apple must pay up to $25 million under an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to settle charges of hiring and recruitment discrimination. The DOJ alleged on Thursday that Apple violated anti-discrimination requirements while recruiting for positions under the permanent labor certification program known as PERM, the Wall Street Journal reports. PERM allows employers to sponsor foreign workers for lawful permanent resident status if they meet certain requirements. The Justice Department said Apple didn’t advertise positions to be filled through the PERM program on its external site and required applicants to submit paper applications.
In response, Apple said the PERM process accounts for only about 5% of its U.S. workforce, and the company didn’t intentionally violate any laws. “When we realized we had unintentionally not been following the DOJ standard, we agreed to a settlement addressing their concerns,” an Apple spokesperson said. “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 must pay $6.75 million in civil penalties, establish an $18.25 million back pay fund for victims of discrimination, and recruit more broadly for PERM positions.