Apple rejects a job candidate because she is Ukrainian

Apple almost hired the Ukrainian Katia Trusova as a Quality Engineer but suddenly rejected her at the last minute after making her an offer. The reason was that the company could not complete her background check due to the war in Ukraine, where she lived five years ago.

Trusova described the situation on LinkedIn. Her post went viral and has received almost 2,000 reactions at the time of writing.

What happened

Katia works as an SLS Quality Engineer. Two weeks ago, she was offered a position at Apple after successfully passing all the interviews and was asked to start work as soon as possible. There was one last formality left, which, as her recruiter assured, wouldn’t be a problem — the company had to run her criminal background check for the past seven years.

So Katia provided her current employer with two weeks’ notice. But three days before starting the new role, Apple informed her that they could not hire her because she had spent two out of the last seven years in Ukraine. And because of the war, the background checks from Ukraine could not be conducted.

“It didn’t help that I submitted a 7-year full background check from December 2021, nor my B1/B2 US tourist visa from May 2015, which couldn’t have been granted to me had I had any criminal charges at any time,” she writes.

The company refused to take into account the situation in Ukraine – the war, to be precise – and soften its hiring policies for Katia.

Why is it important

Apple has been supporting Ukraine from the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion. The company officially left the Russian market and stated it was “deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.” In its original statement to TechCrunch on March 2, the company also said it “stands with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence.”

Nevertheless, some of the company’s actions may seem ambiguous to Ukrainians. For instance, Apple recently almost banned the Ukrainian app showing Russian army death toll, considering it as “potentially objectionable content.” But at the same time, it turned out to be okay for Apple not to hire a specialist because she’s from Ukraine. This concerned not only for Katia, but all Ukrainians in the US.

“I understand the consequences of this post for me personally, being blacklisted by Apple in the future, but what about humanity? Soon thousands of Ukrainian refugees in the US will get their work permits, and what will they hear when they apply for jobs? … Sorry, we can’t hire you because you are from Ukraine… It hurts, hurts a lot, it is unfair,” Katia wrote.

She urged Apple and other big tech companies to review their policies and make exceptions for the Ukrainian people. “We are already suffering a lot, losing our homes, memories, and loved ones…how come you are adding more to that?”