Apple, Google anti-poaching class action suit to proceed after court refuses appeal

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple, Google, Intel and other big-name tech companies will face a class action lawsuit over alleged anti-poaching measures after an appellate court refused to hear an appeal of a 2013 class certification order.

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


The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down its ruling on Tuesday, denying a petition from defendants for permission to appeal a district court order that granted over 64,000 workers class certification, reports Reuters.

As a group, the plaintiffs are accusing Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel and others of an "overarching conspiracy" to keep employee pay down through anti-poaching agreements.

"We look forward to seeking justice for the class at trial," said Kelly Dermody, co-lead counsel for the class.

In April of 2013, District Court Judge Koh denied class status to the plaintiffs, noting workers did not show adequate show harm from the alleged illegal recruitment methods. The jurist reversed her initial decision in October after the presentation of information gathered as part of normal pretrial proceedings.

Court filings note that defendants allegedly implemented a variety of anti-poaching methods, including "do not call" lists, personal emails and other correspondence. Named in the allegations is late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, who in 2007 sent an email to then-Google chief Eric Schmidt, asking him to stop poaching Apple employees. Schmidt acquiesced to the request.

In their petition to appeal, defendants in the case argued that worker background was too diverse to be considered cohesive. According to court documents, employees held over 2,400 job titles ranging from software and hardware engineers to animators and digital artists.

Dermody said Apple and its codefendants will meet again in court when the trial begins on May 27.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    BORING, all this patent crap
  • Reply 2 of 21
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    This has nothing to do with patents, it's to do with companies conspiring to keep down the salaries of their most important employees while the upper echelons of the companies reward themselves with annual remunerations of over $50 M a head.

  • Reply 3 of 21
    BORING, all this patent crap
    LOL, I don't read the articles either.
  • Reply 4 of 21

    Yeah, I know - It's not about patents in this case but the never ending war ... also boring ;-)

  • Reply 5 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,585member
    Glad to see this proceeding. Absolutely the wrong thing to have done IMO.
  • Reply 6 of 21
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,861member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacHarry de View Post



    BORING, all this patent crap

     

    Glad to see you actually READ the article! If you did, you'd now know how much of a fool you probably feel by posting this. I think you just wanted to be first so you said something and assume it was patent issues since it involved Apple and Google. 

  • Reply 7 of 21
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    LOL, I don't read the articles either.

    Well at least read the headline.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Glad to see this proceeding. Absolutely the wrong thing to have done IMO.

    Really? You're "glad"? I recommend you diversify your interests if a no-poaching trial gives you joy.

    Also, this is a class-action suit. Just because thousands of workers now have "class certification" does not mean all employees take the bait. Every time I've received those notifications in the mail, I immediately toss them out. Class-action suits only enrich law firms. This has nothing to do with "justice".
  • Reply 9 of 21
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,687member
    Class action lawsuits enrich the lawyers. The workers will each get a $5 gift card.

    IMO, I thought workers can still seek other opportunities rather than being recruited by cold calls. I don't see an issue here.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,585member
    Really? You're "glad"? I recommend you diversify your interests if a no-poaching trial gives you joy.

    Also, this is a class-action suit. Just because thousands of workers now have "class certification" does not mean all employees take the bait. Every time I've received those notifications in the mail, I immediately toss them out. Class-action suits only enrich law firms. This has nothing to do with "justice".

    I'm not joyous. :\ I'm glad ... Glad that this lawsuit is going forward to discourage other companies from entering into the same schemes to artificially limit the ability of hard-working people to freely move between jobs and/or increase their income based on their real value.

    It sounds as tho you think restricting worker freedom is a good thing then, or at least there should be no significant penalties for doing so? If that's not your opinion then could you take a moment to explain why severe monetary penalties that make just such illegal agreements too costly to business is something bad?
  • Reply 11 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,585member
    jungmark wrote: »
    Class action lawsuits enrich the lawyers. The workers will each get a $5 gift card.

    IMO, I thought workers can still seek other opportunities rather than being recruited by cold calls. I don't see an issue here.

    Not according to the claims. The gentleman's agreement was that none of the companies would hire from another "regardless of the individual's desires". It reportedly wasn't just applicable to active recruiting.
    http://www.tuaw.com/2013/01/23/steve-jobs-reportedly-threatened-palm-over-anti-poaching-agreeme/
  • Reply 12 of 21
    gatorguy wrote: »
    I'm not joyous. :\ I'm glad ... Glad that this lawsuit is going forward to discourage other companies from entering into the same schemes to artificially limit the ability of hard-working people to freely move between jobs and/or increase their income based on their real value.

    It sounds as tho you think restricting worker freedom is a good thing then, or at least their should be no significant penalties for doing so?

    Since I only own stock in Apple and I don't work there, I'm entitled to be indignant about this suit. ;)
  • Reply 13 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,585member
    Since I only own stock in Apple and I don't work there, I'm entitled to be indignant about this suit. ;)

    Oh. . .
    Ok then, understood. :D
  • Reply 14 of 21
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Since I only own stock in Apple and I don't work there, I'm entitled to be indignant about this suit. image

     

     Really? You're "indignant"? I recommend you diversify your interests if a no-poaching trial gives you sorrow.

  • Reply 15 of 21
    lantznlantzn Posts: 240member

    I can't help but imagine in that photo, Schmidt holding a knife in that hand and asking Jobs to turn around.  He was scheming behind the Apple board at that time to copy iOS with an Android overhaul.

  • Reply 16 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RichL View Post

     

     

     Really? You're "indignant"? I recommend you diversify your interests if a no-poaching trial gives you sorrow.


     

    Guess you really zinged me there... :rolleyes:

  • Reply 17 of 21
    cwscws Posts: 59member

    As an AAPL stockholder, this concerns me as much as any other risk the company faces.  It is quite conceivable that the company and its co-conspirators could be held liable for tens of billions of dollars of additional compensation to current and former employees going back years.  The fact that the companies engaged in this behavior don't even seem to be much in dispute.

  • Reply 18 of 21
    cws wrote: »
    As an AAPL stockholder, this concerns me as much as any other risk the company faces.  It is quite conceivable that the company and its co-conspirators could be held liable for tens of billions of dollars of additional compensation to current and former employees going back years.  The fact that the companies engaged in this behavior don't even seem to be much in dispute.

    "Tens of billions"? How could you possibly defend such a guesstimate?
  • Reply 19 of 21
    Originally Posted by cws View Post

    As an AAPL stockholder

     

    Like clockwork.

  • Reply 20 of 21
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    "Tens of billions"? How could you possibly defend such a guesstimate?

    I believe 9 Billion was bandied about.   I'm not sure if that's a total amount expected to be levied across 

    all Defendants but the number will be high. 

     

    Entering into this form of discussion was one of the most unethical things Steve Jobs has done.  Educations are expensive 

    and these companies attempt to collude and thwart Free Enterprise illegally cannot go with a mere slap on the wrist. 

     

    Apple alone doesn't shoulder the blame nor should it pay the most but unfortunately they are as culpable as any here. 

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