The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration announced on Wednesday that it has requested a comprehensive report from the Tamil Nadu state government following a Reuters report that exposed Apple supplier Foxconn's policy of excluding married women from iPhone assembly positions in India. The Ministry of Labour and Employment, in its call for an investigation, referenced the Equal Remuneration Act of 1976, emphasizing that the law explicitly prohibits discrimination in hiring between men and women. The ministry has sought a detailed report from the Labour Department of Tamil Nadu, where a significant iPhone manufacturing facility is located, and where Reuters discovered Foxconn's practice of not hiring married women. Additionally, the Labour Ministry has instructed the Regional Chief Labour Commissioner's office to furnish a factual report. Neither Apple nor Foxconn responded immediately to requests for comment on the government's statement, and the Tamil Nadu state government did not respond to Reuters' inquiry outside of office hours. A Reuters investigation revealed that Foxconn systematically avoided hiring married women at its primary Indian iPhone plant near Chennai, Tamil Nadu, arguing that they have greater family obligations compared to their unmarried peers. Foxconn's hiring agents and HR sources mentioned family responsibilities, potential pregnancy, and increased absenteeism as reasons for not employing married women at the plant. The Ministry of Labour has acknowledged media reports regarding the exclusion of married women from employment at Foxconn's Indian Apple iPhone plant. Previously, in response to Reuters' questions for its Tuesday report, both Apple and Foxconn admitted to shortcomings in their hiring practices in 2022 and stated they had taken steps to rectify the issues. However, all the discriminatory practices documented by Reuters occurred in 2023 and 2024, and neither company addressed these incidents. Apple noted that when concerns about hiring practices were initially raised in 2022, they swiftly took action and collaborated with their supplier to conduct monthly audits to identify issues and ensure compliance with their high standards, stating that all their suppliers, including Foxconn, hire married women. Foxconn strongly denied allegations of employment discrimination based on marital status, gender, religion, or any other criteria. Legal experts informed Reuters that Indian law does not prohibit companies from discriminating in hiring based on marital status. However, both Apple's and Foxconn's policies forbid such practices within their supply chains.