Judge grants class action certification in Apple, Google anti-poaching lawsuit

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A U.S. District Court judge has granted class-certification to a group of over 64,000 workers who claim Apple, Google and two other tech companies illegally held down wages by conspiring to not poach each other's workers.

Jobs and Schmidt
Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt during the iPhone's introduction at MacWorld in 2007


As reported by Bloomberg, Judge Lucy Koh handed down her decision in the ongoing suit on Thursday, saying the plaintiff's pretrial information gathering made their case "much stronger."

In April, Judge Koh denied class status to the group, noting workers had not shown adequate harm from the alleged anti-poaching agreement between the tech giants.

According to the publication, the lawyer representing the group said there are up to 64,626 potential members in the class, with backgrounds ranging from software and hardware engineers to animators and digital artists.

"We have always actively and aggressively recruited top talent," Google said in response to Judge Koh's ruling. The company was the only defendant to make a statement regarding the case, which is being leveled against Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe.

The court filing notes that defendants allegedly engaged in "overarching conspiracy" to eliminate competition for skilled labor through the implementation of anti-poaching methods, such as "do not call" lists, emails and other correspondence. Named in the allegations is late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, who in 2007 sent a personal email to then-Google chief Eric Schmidt, asking him to stop poaching Apple workers.

Of the companies named in the initial complaint, three have settled. If Judge Koh signs off on their proposed settlements, Intuit will pay $11 million, while Pixar and Lucasfilm will put in a combined $9 million over the antitrust claims.

«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    rissriss Posts: 47member
    shouldn't this judge be working on Appls vs Samsung patent case??? no wonder it will take ages to rule with such schedule
  • Reply 2 of 29
    What a crock. Jobs asked Weasel Boy to stop poaching. So what? "Asking" is not a legally binding agreement.
  • Reply 3 of 29
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member

    Damages should be in the tens of millions. 

     

    Education is expensive.  Companies that engage in anti-poaching behavior should really have the book thrown 

    at them.   

  • Reply 4 of 29
    Companies that engage in anti-poaching behavior should really have the book thrown
  • Reply 5 of 29

    IPHONE 6 beautiful picture on web http://ow.ly/qcd9o

  • Reply 6 of 29
  • Reply 7 of 29
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,755member
    What a crock. Jobs asked Weasel Boy to stop poaching. So what? "Asking" is not a legally binding agreement.
    Lots of illegal actions aren't legally binding, so what's your point?
  • Reply 8 of 29
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

     

    Damages should be in the tens of millions. 

     

    Education is expensive.  Companies that engage in anti-poaching behavior should really have the book thrown 

    at them.   


    So with enough money I should be able to gut any company or organization I want because I know people can be bought?

  • Reply 9 of 29
    Anti-poaching is different from a restriction of trade.

    It seems the companies had an agreement to not poach each others employees but should the employees approach the other company they were free to employ they.

    Going to be hard to show that any anti-poaching agreement affected staff, when they were free to apply off there own backs.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    If Judge Koh signs off on their proposed settlements, Intuit will pay $11 million, while Pixar and Lucasfilm will put in a combined $9 million over the antitrust claims.

    These are absurdly low amounts.
  • Reply 11 of 29

    I am not exactly clear about the wrong-doing here, so if someone can explain I would appreciate it. I know it is a sexist analogy, but if I asked you not to ogle at my girlfriend and in return I'll stay clear from yours, should the women in our lives feel less desirable?

  • Reply 12 of 29
    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

    Lots of illegal actions aren't legally binding, so what's your point?

     

    Should be obvious to anyone who cares to do any thinking: that isn’t an illegal action.

  • Reply 13 of 29

    I'd certainly be interested in the specifics of this alleged "anti-poaching" agreement. The details matter. I don't know what the law is in this regard, but a couple of scenarios separate for me an agreement which probably should be legal and one which should be questionable.

     

    First, if the agreement is that one company shall not solicit specific employees of another company, then I don't find that a problem.

     

    However, if the agreement is if an employee takes the initiative to contact another company, then if the agreement requires the solicited company to reject that employee, then this agreement should be illegal. 

     

    We do have the complexity of NDA's however. NDA's are legal, assuming they are not merely form contracts that everyone has to sign, are reasonably specific as to what knowledge is covered by the NDA and are appropriately limited as to time and doesn't unnecessarily limit the employability of the employee. 

     

    I would expect the topic of NDAs would be part of a anti-poaching agreement, if it exists and would be an element of this legal case.

  • Reply 14 of 29
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lee6370 View Post



    It seems the companies had an agreement to not poach each others employees but should the employees approach the other company they were free to employ they.

     

     

    This. My understanding is that they decided not to actively recruit (steal) other employees. But no employee was ever prevented from actually leaving one company to work at another.

     

    I'm not sure how they can claim that wages were "held down" when employees are free to leave when they want to.

  • Reply 15 of 29
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MaureenSharib View Post



    If Judge Koh signs off on their proposed settlements, Intuit will pay $11 million, while Pixar and Lucasfilm will put in a combined $9 million over the antitrust claims.



    These are absurdly low amounts.

    absurdly low hardly grasps the depths of the how bad this is.   Restricting someone from obtaining fair value for their education is a direct affront on their Liberty and Property.   That's arguably a 5th Amendment violation.

  • Reply 16 of 29
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,755member
    Should be obvious to anyone who cares to do any thinking: that isn’t an illegal action.
    Asking and having your request accepted constitutes an agreement, legally binding or not. Agreements not to poach workers are illegal in the state of California

    Your "thinking" would appear to be incorrect.
  • Reply 17 of 29
    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

    or not.

     

    There we go.

  • Reply 18 of 29
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,755member
    Well done for missing the point completely. An illegal agreement will never be legally binding, because it was illegal in the first place.

    The terms of a kill contract are not legally binding, the agreement is illegal.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member

    Legally binding is a moot point.  

     

    If education can be defined by property (Intellectual Property) then you have a 5th Amendment issue here.    

     

    One of the reason to attend a Top 10 school is to increase your job opportunities and attain a salary commensurate 

    with you education.   If companies are allowed to create "any" friction in this market then it has a chilling effect on 

    the benefits of Higher Education.   What good is a Stanford degree if you choose a job at Google and suddenly Apple, Intel 

    and other don't want to touch you?    Your education is your property and your ability to freely market your skills is your Liberty. 

     

    Ask anyone writing a large monthly check to pay off student loans how they feel about companies attempting to restrain their 

    job opportunities.   

  • Reply 20 of 29
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

     

    Legally binding is a moot point.  

     

    If education can be defined by property (Intellectual Property) then you have a 5th Amendment issue here.    

     

    One of the reason to attend a Top 10 school is to increase your job opportunities and attain a salary commensurate 

    with you education.   If companies are allowed to create "any" friction in this market then it has a chilling effect on 

    the benefits of Higher Education.   What good is a Stanford degree if you choose a job at Google and suddenly Apple, Intel 

    and other don't want to touch you?    Your education is your property and your ability to freely market your skills is your Liberty. 

     

    Ask anyone writing a large monthly check to pay off student loans how they feel about companies attempting to restrain their 

    job opportunities.   


     

    Apart from being free to apply to any company you want on YOUR OWN volition that is.

     

    This was about companies actively soliciting for workers among those already employed by other companies, taking advantage of the considerable expenses involved in training them up and opening the door to access to potentially harmful inside information.

Sign In or Register to comment.