A class action lawsuit against Google, Apple, and other tech companies that struck deals to not “cold call” each other’s employees may be on the verge of wrapping up. Similar cases against Oracle and Microsoft have just been filed.
The suit against Microsoft (PDF) says that in 2007, the company struck a deal with several other tech companies not to pursue employees who were at “manager level or above,” even if the candidate reached out.
Such behavior is considered illegal by the Department of Justice. In 2010, the DOJ reached settlements with Google, Apple, Adobe, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar, under which they had to stop abiding by such agreements. Later, a class-action civil suit was filed, claiming that more than 60,000 engineers working for those companies had their wages suppressed by the agreements. The defendant companies agreed to pay $324 million to settle that case, but the judge rejected the settlement as insufficient. Rather than make a larger offer, the defendant companies have appealed her decision.
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