Apple accused

Apple Inc., which is considering putting additional facilities in Nevada, is facing discrimination claims and a possible U.S. Department of Justice probe.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, Iranian American Bar Association, Council on American-Islamic Relations and National Iranian American Council, sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook drawing his attention to incidents when Iranian-Americans and speakers of Farsi were allegedly denied purchase of iPads and other merchandise by Apple store employees in recent weeks.

The letter asks that the company publicize its supposed anti-discrimination policy and train its workers on that policy and on export controls. It also asks that specific incidents be investigated. Spokespeople for the rights groups said they are waiting to see what corporate officers do in response, but that they also brought the incidents to the attention of the Justice Department.

In a statement to Al Jazeera, Apple said, “Our retail stores are proud to serve customers from around the world of every ethnicity. Our teams are multilingual, and diversity is an important part of our culture. We don’t discriminate against anyone.”

Apple has a small Reno facility that qualifies it for tax breaks and is planning to increase its Reno presence with the help of more tax breaks (see News, this page).