Workers Sue Over Silicon Valley Anti-poaching Pacts

by Melanie Korn | Category: Article

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 03:47:44 AM

More than 60,000 high-tech workers have a bone to pick with Apple, Google, Intel and several other Silicon Valley giants. In a class-action suit filed with the U.S. District Court of Northern California, workers with these companies claim that the late Steve Jobs and other CEOs conspired to keep their wages down by agreeing not to recruit talent from competing companies. The companies have called a judge’s order allowing the case to move forward ”manifestly erroneous.” The lawsuit, scheduled to go to trial in late May, seeks up to $9 billion in damages. Brought on behalf of about 64,000 programmers, software developers, digital artists and others, the suit centers on recruitment practices in one of the world’s leading technology sectors. Companies that poach employees will rely on recruiters to cold-call top talent working for a competitor. That kind of free-market competition for talent can lead to offers of better pay and benefits for workers. The anti-poaching agreements, which originally were between the Steve Jobs-led Pixar and Lucasfilm, began in 2006 and saw those two companies put into writing an agreement not to recruit workers from each other. The agreements were later purportedly extended to Apple, Adobe, Intel and Intuit. Court documents claim that employees were never told of the arrangements. In the lawsuits, the...

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