Apple to pay $25m in landmark US employment discrimination case

10 Nov 2023

Image: © EdNurg/

The US Department of Justice argued that the tech giant violated anti-discrimination requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act in its hiring practices.

Apple have agreed to pay $25m following a legal claim of discriminatory hiring practices based on citizenship.

The US Department of Justice said yesterday (9 November) that it secured a “landmark agreement” with Apple to resolve allegations that the company illegally discriminated in its hiring practices against US citizens and permanent residency holders.

It argued that Apple violated the anti-discrimination requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act during its recruitment for positions falling under a programme that allows employers to sponsor workers for lawful permanent resident status in the US.

According to the department, any US employer that utilises the programme cannot illegally discriminate in hiring or recruitment based on citizenship or immigration status.

“Creating unlawful barriers that make it harder for someone to seek a job because of their citizenship status will not be tolerated,” said assistant attorney general Kristen Clarke of the department’s Civil Rights Division.

“This resolution reflects the Civil Rights Division’s commitment to ending illegal discriminatory employment practices.”

Started in 2019, the department’s investigation found that Apple did not advertise positions it sought to fill through the programme on its external jobs website. Moreover, it required the applicants to mail paper applications instead of the usual online route.

As part of the agreement, Apple will pay $6.75m in civil penalties and establish an $18.25m fund for eligible discrimination victims.

Just yesterday, Apple suffered a setback in a long-running EU legal case involving underpaid tax it may owe Ireland.

The advocate general of Europe’s highest court has backed an EU ruling against Apple that requires the tech giant to pay more than €13bn in tax that the EU says is due to Ireland because of underpaid taxes between 2003 and 2014.

In his opinion, which is not legally binding, the advocate general of the EU Court of Justice said that a judgement made by the General Court that rejected the EU ruling three years ago should be “set aside” and the case be referred back to the General Court for a new decision.

Earlier this month, Apple faced a UK lawsuit that accused the company of throttling certain iPhone batteries without informing users. It previously agreed to pay $500m to settle a similar US case, after claims it slowed down certain iPhone models without informing consumers.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic