Employers in Texas and around the country can use the U.S. Department of Labor’s Permanent Labor Certification program to hire skilled foreign workers when they cannot find qualified American candidates to fill specialized positions. Programs like PERM are put into place to support companies that operate in highly competitive markets, and they also protect American workers. When employers break the rules to favor foreign workers, they can be ordered to pay civil damages to compensate American workers who were denied opportunities.
Apple settles discrimination claims
The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Nov. 9 that Apple has agreed to pay $25 million to settle claims arising from an investigation launched by the agency in 2019. DOJ investigators claim that Apple violated PERM requirements by not advertising available positions on its external jobs website and requiring American applicants to apply by mail.
Employers face increased scrutiny
Employers that use programs like PERM to hire qualified foreign workers have been subjected to increased scrutiny in recent years. In 2021, Meta, which operates the popular Facebook social media platform, agreed to pay more than $14.5 million to settle PERM-related employment discrimination claims. Most of that money was paid to the victims of the discrimination. The $25 million that Apple has agreed to pay to settle PERM-related claims is the most the DOJ has recovered in a case involving the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Apple and Meta executives likely chose to settle with the DOJ because the evidence of discrimination was overwhelming. Vacancies were not posted on U.S. job websites, and only foreign workers were able to submit their resumes online. Recruitment strategies like these cannot be concealed, which suggests that Apple and Meta may not have expected the PERM regulations to be enforced.