U.S. tech companies must be more inclusive and engage more with minorities
U.K. tech giant Apple has been targeted with a lawsuit accusing it of racial discrimination and retaliation for failing to recruit minority employees, which the company says could amount to discrimination under U.N. standards.
The suit was filed in New York federal court on Thursday by a group of black and Latino tech executives.
The lawsuit accuses Apple of “a pattern of discrimination” against black and Hispanic employees.
The group says it was able to recruit more than 1,400 black and Latinos, and about 1,000 Hispanic and Latino employees, because Apple did not discriminate against them based on their race, according to the lawsuit.
“It is extremely rare that Apple would not have hired more minority employees,” the plaintiffs wrote in the lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of the company.
Apple has said it does not discriminate on the basis of race and ethnicity in hiring, and has been criticized for the inclusion of some of the country’s most powerful tech leaders in its board of directors.
The company has hired and promoted some of Silicon Valley’s most influential and influential figures in recent years, including Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook.
The complaint seeks an injunction preventing the company from discriminating against employees based on race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, the Associated Press reports.
Apple’s board of Directors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The allegations in the suit were first reported by BuzzFeed News, which cited people familiar with the matter.
The case stems from a 2011 complaint filed by the National Urban League, a New York-based nonprofit that advocates for the civil rights of people of color.
The plaintiffs, who include a black woman and a Latino man, say they were fired from the company for being black or Latino, and were told that they were being fired because they were “in a minority.”
The lawsuit alleges that Apple fired these employees because they worked on a diversity task force that included white and Asian employees, but the company did not recruit or hire any minorities on the task force.
Apple declined to comment on the complaint.
The companies chief diversity officer, Angela Ahrendts, has been accused of “racial discrimination” for her role in the hiring of a white man, according the Associated News.
She has denied the allegations.
Apple was ranked among the top tech employers in the United States in 2014, with more than 2 million employees, according Fortune magazine.
Apple is the largest U.P. tech company by revenue, with revenues in the U.L.O.T.K., which stands for the largest non-U.S.-based tech company, accounting for more than 40% of its sales, Fortune reported.
Apple, however, has struggled with its labor practices.
The AP previously reported that the company paid no wages to black workers in 2015, citing an audit from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which found that it “failed to provide reasonable and nondiscriminatory opportunities” to black employees.
In 2015, Apple announced that it was creating a $1 billion fund to fund a “Black Leadership Program” that would include a scholarship program for black college students and other efforts aimed at boosting diversity.
In 2017, Apple said it would be creating a separate fund for women, which is still under construction.