Apple and one of its employees Dan Riccio are facing a $40 million racial discrimination lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed in the Santa Clara County Superior Court claims Apple and supervisor Riccio denied an African-American employee promotions, stock options and separated him from his colleagues.

The unnamed plaintiff worked as a product design engineer at Apple from November 1998 to July 2001. The case hinges on the employee’s decision to bring a friend to Apple’s campus. He claims he was motivating a friend to attend college and improve himself.

However, the employee was suspended and fired for his actions. Other co-workers allegedly brought friends and family into the campus without punishment.

The ex-employee’s attorney - Waukeen McCoy - told MacCentral that his client had no disciplinary problems, and that a performance review conducted before his dismissal suggested his performance was above average. He also claimed Apple's decision to sack the employee was racially motivated.

The employee also describes being removed from his co-workers, and placed in a cubicle away from this team.

Depositions must now be obtained from Riccio and human resources management at Apple to support the discrimination claim. Apple was unavailable for comment.