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US Justice Dept. Investigates IT Hiring Practices 223

Posted by timothy
from the let's-share-this-back-scratcher dept.
Zecheus writes "The Wall Street Journal (no paywall on this story) reports that the Justice Department is 'stepping up' an investigation of hiring practices of US technology firms, such as Google, Intel, IBM, and Apple. From the article: 'The inquiry is focused on whether companies, particularly in the technology sector, have agreed not to recruit each other's employees in ways that violate antitrust law. Specifically, the probe is looking into whether the companies' hiring practices are costing skilled computer engineers and other workers opportunities to change jobs for higher pay or better benefits.'"
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US Justice Dept. Investigates IT Hiring Practices

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  • Sexism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @06:51PM (#31802648)
    As a 49 yo grandmother, C programmer and techie, I'd say sexism is a major problem in IT hiring. Its offensive.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ClosedSource (238333)

      I'm afraid at your age you are subject to two discriminatory categories. If you started working as a programmer in the 1980s, you must have been pretty determined to put up with the rest of us (men) during that era. I'd hire you - if I had a job.

      • by Z34107 (925136)

        Old troll is old. If the originator of that comment was actually real, she hasn't been on /. for a while.

    • And by Sexism (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Das Auge (597142)
      You mean that not everyone was 100% nice to you all the time. Which, or course, is how male techs treat each other.

      Yes, there's sexism, but more often than not it's simply that not everyone is nice.
  • How does one even verify whether or not a companies have agreed not to poach from one another in a way that cannot otherwise be explained as 'not the right fit'?
    • by martin-boundary (547041) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:12PM (#31802848)
      I think there is a reasonable question here, tough. For example:

      I've always wondered why Microsoft hasn't hired a lot of Google's engineers away from Google. In the last 10 years, Microsoft has had huge amounts of cash in the bank. It would have been easy to simply offer each of the 100 top Google engineers literally double their salary each, just to come work for MS. Even if they didn't do anything specific (or did their own thing), as long as they didn't work for Google it would be a net gain. That would have been such an easy way to gut a competitor, much easier than trying to build a better search engine, or to buy Yahoo!.

      Not every company could do that, but the top tech companies are swimming in cash, and targeted poaching is an option. But it doesn't seem to be used anywhere near its full (business) potential.

      • It would have been easy to simply offer each of the 100 top Google engineers literally double their salary each, just to come work for MS.

        Not everyone is for sale. And if you're making half a million a year, does that extra half million really make that much of a difference to you?

        • by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:36PM (#31803090)

          Most of the people I know at Google don't work there for the money, and unless it was a job in something like MSR there's no way in hell you could turn their heads.

          • by shentino (1139071) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @09:53PM (#31804002)

            And that's the way a company SHOULD protect itself from headhunters.

      • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOSpam.mac.com> on Saturday April 10, 2010 @08:02PM (#31803276) Journal

        I've always wondered why Microsoft hasn't hired a lot of Google's engineers away from Google.

        Because 1) they'd have to move from the center of the industry to a city that might as well be a company town, at least as far as development work is concerned. 2) They'd have to leave an organization with a healthy, young, and vibrant corporate culture and go to one that's rotting from the head, and 3) they'd have to forgo GOOG options for MSFT options, and 4) Google is a much better resume entry than Microsoft.

        -jcr

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by phantomfive (622387)
          For the first one, Microsoft has a campus in Silicon Valley less than 15 minutes from Google's. So moving wouldn't really be an issue.
      • by Vellmont (569020) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @08:18PM (#31803394)


        In the last 10 years, Microsoft has had huge amounts of cash in the bank. It would have been easy to simply offer each of the 100 top Google engineers literally double their salary each, just to come work for MS.

        Well, number one it's a huge obvious anti-trust issue. Microsoft is already a convicted monopolist. Google isn't without its own political influences. You do the math.

        The other issue would simply be starting a "employee grab" war. You think Google couldn't try the same thing with Microsoft's employees? The only end result would be both companies would be paying more for employees, with a stalemate as far as talent goes. Neither company employs stupid management, and the moves are obvious enough to see.

        Also you have to understand that money isn't everything, especially above a certain level. Work environment, influence, location, benefits, and rising stock prices all effect people's decisions on where to work.

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          Welcome to the wonderful world of the carte.
          Why is this new news now in the US now?
          A childlike naivety that the "tech" sector would be any different from their parents and grandparents generation?
        • Well, number one it's a huge obvious anti-trust issue. Microsoft is already a convicted monopolist. Google isn't without its own political influences. You do the math.

          It worked with Anders Hejlsberg. [wikipedia.org]

        • by Rantastic (583764)

          You think Google couldn't try the same thing with Microsoft's employees?

          Right, because what Google needs is to dip into a clutch of programmers who still haven't figured out the first thing about software security..

          Thanks for the laugh!

        • by SashaMan (263632)

          The other issue would simply be starting a "employee grab" war. You think Google couldn't try the same thing with Microsoft's employees? The only end result would be both companies would be paying more for employees, with a stalemate as far as talent goes.

          Well, that's the whole point on why the agreement to not poach employees is illegal. This is price fixing, plain and simple, except that instead of colluding to raise the price of a product they sell, the companies are colluding to artificially keep the cost of employee salaries lower than they should be.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tomy (34647)

        Trust me, having Google or Amazon on the resume means a lot more the having Microsoft on the resume.

        The former two guarantee you know something about scaling (insane scaling), the later only guarantees you know how to develop for Windows.

        The former two haven't drowned themselves in bureaucracy. The later has.

        The former two still have managers with technical chops. The later has MBA's for managers.

  • This is nothing... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Securityemo (1407943) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:00PM (#31802732) Journal
    A crack team of shadowrunners can't fix.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by phantomfive (622387)
      But that would force the justice department to actually do work. By releasing press reports that they are 'stepping up' an investigation, which everyone reads, they will get credit for doing something, even if they actually do nothing. If instead they sent their shadowrunners in, an excellent idea and should have been done before making announcements, they could have done a lot of work that no one ever heard about. That is why, whatever comes as a result of this investigation, you can expect that it won'
  • by balsy2001 (941953) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:11PM (#31802834)
    This would be very hard to prove. Even if it is real, how is this really different than other arbitrary hiring practices like "google only hires kids that have degrees from MIT and Stanford" or whatever they do. You could say that just about anything that limits who you will hire in any way unfairly limits someone's potential to get higher pay and benefits. This may be helpful for start-up companies because they know if they want to get a googler or IBMer they only have to beat out one company.
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:12PM (#31802840)
    I stole one of our contractors employee's last week.

    I think no one should have the right to tell you were you work, but, you shouldn't be allowed leave and take you current employers clients with you over to another firm. if you allow that kind of bullshit, employee's would hold employers to ransom.

    things like having agreement not to hire engineers and coders so you don't have to compete for the talent pool is bullshit, i hope they get dragged over the coals.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @08:08PM (#31803316) Journal

      you shouldn't be allowed leave and take you current employers clients with you over to another firm.

      If you can "take" your former employer's clients, it means that they were not really clients of the company but rather clients of a single person. That is a poor way to handle business relationships.

      • That's a very good point.

        On one hand, an employee is supposed to be an extension to the corporation. On the other, sometimes employees are designated to be "the face" of the company. Usually this involves sales. But I know first hand in the IT industry, it's often an employee that has a few designated "regulars" that he/she will often work closely with. I can definitely understand that after a long business relationship; it's often that the client will have strong ties with that sole employee and not the co

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @10:28PM (#31804218)

      Agree 100% there. Nobody should be able to tell you that you can't use your skill set to make a living. That's one of the perks of living in a right to work state.

      That said, my wife owns a small therapy business that we took out loans for every penny we're worth to finance, advertise, brand, and build from the ground up. For 2 of 3 years she managed to take minimum wage while making sure that everybody else was paid competitively and with incentives.

      After hiring a director for a second office and continually re-investing in the company, 2 years later the director left, took 2 of the 3 therapists and 60% of the patients in that office, open an office 2 blocks away. She basically took our investment, used us to build up a caseload and a revenue stream, and then decided to call it "her" business. That kind've impact, when you also take into effect long term lease agreements on office space that we had to commit to, nearly bankrupted us, forced us to shut down the business and cost 10 other people their jobs. And if you're wondering, the therapist's contracts were mysteriously destroyed before all of this took place.

      Hiring in that business is seasonal and through a random stroke of luck we were able to rearrange personnel and my wife has taken on a caseload that she doesn't have time to take on just so that she can get to the summer when therapists usually become available, without having to fire anybody.

      People are greedy and in a service based business where the employees are providing a service to your clients/patients every day employees can get a seriously inflated sense of self-worth without a hint of what has been done just to make their position even exist. Holding companies for hostage would be an understatement because the impact of 1 or 2 people leaving can hurt a lot more than just your employeer, it can hurt your previous fellow employees.

      I'm a web developer and I had a serious ego in my last job. Then I tried to start my own thing (still working on it) and I now have a heaping load of appreciation for the opportunity that my previous employer gave me.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        You are right that no one should tell you you can't use your skills to make a living, but in all my forty years of contract engineering, only once did I chose to work for a clients direct competitor. There was enough opportunity out there that I felt I could move on. I think it hurts your professional reputation if you do that kind of thing. The one time I did work for a company that had a similar product as a previous client, I asked for and received permission from the previous client based on their fait
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ErikZ (55491) *

        2 out of the 3 therapists took off with the new Director without even *talking* to you?

        Sounds like you had a bad relationship with them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:13PM (#31802864)

    I work for a really big (20+ Billion dollars in revenues) company's IT department.

    Of late, they have become enamored with one of the big Indian outsourcing companies. I'm sure their folks are wonderful - indeed, of the ones I've worked with, it's about the same breakdown of wonderful/OK/awful as everyone else.

    Based on job listings recently found on one of the internet job sites, they appear to have asked the outsourcer to find someone to work in my area as a technical manager of sorts. The job listing is full of internal lingo and acronyms - nobody from outside the company would know what it's talking about; indeed, some of the acronyms are commonly thought of as something else. (For example, suppose IBM stood for, internally, the "Internet Bandwidth Management" system but it says in the job listing "must be familiar with IBM computer technologies.")

    I'm usually one to attribute stuff to stupidity before malice or deviousness.

    But is the crap job listing a devious attempt to prove that nobody with US work rights already is suitable, thereby making it OK to bring in someone on a visa - and totally ignoring the fact that the visa guy won't be suitable either?

    Or is it just stupidity? After all, HR folks mess up technical job listings all the time.

    I don't know, but I do know that the H1B bull shit needs to be cleaned up. Given the employment turmoil of the last year, why would you possibly, honestly, need to bring someone in from overseas?

    • by Vellmont (569020)


      But is the crap job listing a devious attempt to prove that nobody with US work rights already is suitable, thereby making it OK to bring in someone on a visa - and totally ignoring the fact that the visa guy won't be suitable either?

      Given your description? Yes. Absolutely. There's really no question about that. This kind of thing happens all the time. I also completely agree with you that it's both unethical, and very likely illegal.

  • by ErichTheRed (39327) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:20PM (#31802926)

    I'm guessing this this really only applies to the high-level, superstar tech talent, right? Especially with firms like Microsoft and IBM, what could they possibly be losing when IBM hires someone who's been working on the grammar checker for the Norwegian version of Word? Or the lower-level code monkey keeping an obscure feature of WebSphere MQ up to date?

    These kinds of agreements would work in environments where talent tends to stay put. Unfortunately, the invisible hand seems to think that job stability is a stupid, backward 20th Century concept. After all, who doesn't like looking for a new job every 2 to 6 years?? In an environment like this, even the big guys are going to have trouble holding onto employees.

    I think a much better investigation would deal with the well-publicized claims of IBM laying off senior US techs, replacing them with Indians or Brazillians, and forcing the laid off person to train the n00b to get their severance package. I'd also like to see the H-1B program users under some scrutiny for things like not paying prevailing wages, or employers intentionally not pursuing the hiring of US workers so they can get their work cheaper.

    All of these things would be less of an issue with some kind of professional standards body in the IT realm. Unfortunately, too many people I know think this is evil and doesn't allow the full brilliance of their talent to shine. I don't think that's valid...lawyers sure like the Bar Association and doctors like the AMA. These organizations give them the power to influence laws and maintain educational standards...exactly what we need.

    • HB-1 "solution" (Score:2, Interesting)

      by davidwr (791652)

      A partial solution to the problem of foreign laborers is to tax it. A 20% payroll tax on people with employment-based visas in addition to current requirements such as prevailing wages would reduce the incentive to use guest labor. If you applied this to illegal aliens as well, then you have yet another stick to go after people who hire illegal alien labor. The downside risk is that even more jobs will go overseas, where companies are subject to weaker safety, pollution, and other good-for-mankind laws a

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No, it would only reduce the amount of money those people would be willing to pay in salaries. Trust me when I say that it would be really easy for them to fire people.

    • by DaMattster (977781) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:41PM (#31803140)

      I think a much better investigation would deal with the well-publicized claims of IBM laying off senior US techs, replacing them with Indians or Brazillians, and forcing the laid off person to train the n00b to get their severance package. I'd also like to see the H-1B program users under some scrutiny for things like not paying prevailing wages, or employers intentionally not pursuing the hiring of US workers so they can get their work cheaper.

      Finally I read an idea that makes a lot of sense. When there is plenty of talent in the states, why are companies offshoring jobs or importing labor via the H-1B programs. Companies get tax breaks for this kind of non-sense. Companies actually get tax breaks for eliminating American jobs! If that isn't an example of just how bad things have gotten in America, I don't know what is. And supposedly the economy is recovering - I just don't see how. It is time for a change and more laws to protect the American Worker. I might even go so far as to advocate that IT needs to unionize!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Vellmont (569020)


        I might even go so far as to advocate that IT needs to unionize!

        It'll never happen. Why? No, not because IT has some special political position. No, not because IT is someone some special talent pool that's immune to corporate scum-baggery. It's because IT is by and large a large amount of small shops who's power would be very weak. The UAW is a great and powerful union because there's only 3 major U.S. based automakers. Teachers unions are powerful because school districts are large. But IT? So spr

        • but the IT world is so incredibly diverse and changing, how would you have any kind of certification for it

          That's all you had to say, really. When you work in IT, you're on the frontier paving the way for new models for management of information through technology. It's ever changing to reflect the culture of how business is conducted around the world. By that standard (or lack there of), we are COWBOYS! And just like the Cowboy that enjoys a wide range of freedom on the range, we also have to accept the fa

          • by Vellmont (569020)


            Stability (by definition) is the antithesis to the IT industry.

            Baloney. Eventually the Moore's law gravy train that's been responsible for a lot of the continued development and the rapid change will be over. When that will happen I don't know, but it will. Much of the innovations of new languages has been at least in part been a result of Moore's law. Sure, the change and innovation will likely never stop, but it will slow. Even farming has innovation and change in it and it's one of the oldest activi

            • Well I don't agree. And Moore's law may not be the only limitation. With new technologies, and the technologies developed as a result of the previous technologies so far has proved you wrong. We've already moved from the vacuum tube, transistor, silicon chip, and now on the cusp of quantum computing technologies. The latter will usher in a whole other subset of programming and processing philosophies.

              If you think IT will become more stable and mature, you're in for a rude awakening. You best be advised to h

              • by Vellmont (569020)


                With new technologies, and the technologies developed as a result of the previous technologies so far has proved you wrong.

                Huh? New technologies can't escape the fact that the world is made of atoms. Moore's law is largely the same technologies of photo-lithography on silicon improved and improved again. I'm sure there's a lot of innovation that occurs, but it can't escape the fact that the silicon atom is of a finitely large size.

                quantum computing technologies. The latter will usher in a whole other sub

                • For a moment, I'll entertain the idea you are 100% correct and that IT will stabilize. However, not for the foreseeable future. Depending on your age, you might not have the luxury to retire from this industry by the time that starts to happen.

                  We are all playing a game of "what-ifs". But if the past and present is any indication of the future, I plan on not mapping out my career on the idea of future stability. Such a notion seems like pure fantasy now.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)

      Unfortunately, the invisible hand seems to think that job stability is a stupid, backward 20th Century concept. After all, who doesn't like looking for a new job every 2 to 6 years?? In an environment like this, even the big guys are going to have trouble holding onto employees.

      Job stability doesn't work when the -industry- is changing. Advancements in hardware allow for new software concepts. 15 years ago if someone came up with the idea for Google Maps it would be shot down for a number of reasons. Number one because of the lack of high-resolution satellites and number two because of the fact the average person could never download such a large file over the (then) current technology. Today, Google Maps is a large part of Google and similar things are used on other sites.

      O

      • by kalidasa (577403) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @08:02PM (#31803282) Journal
        You are assuming that people can't keep up with change. Sounds like you've never worked with top notch people. A truly talented IT guy can keep up with innovations well into his 70s - if he pushes himself (or herself).
      • Instabilities in farming was one of the major economic stories at the start of the last century. Many people had to leave the field and find different jobs as tractors replaced farm hands and horses. Changing industry is not new.
    • by russotto (537200)

      All of these things would be less of an issue with some kind of professional standards body in the IT realm. Unfortunately, too many people I know think this is evil and doesn't allow the full brilliance of their talent to shine. I don't think that's valid...lawyers sure like the Bar Association and doctors like the AMA. These organizations give them the power to influence laws and maintain educational standards...exactly what we need.

      And exactly which members of our profession would sit upon this august bo

  • by davidwr (791652) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:24PM (#31802972) Homepage Journal

    There is a difference.

    Legal: "We won't have our recruiters stake out the Starbucks in Redmond."

    Grey area, probably what the Feds are looking into: "We'll draw up a short list of industry experts and constantly headhunt them, but once we find out they work for Microsoft we'll stop actively pursuing them. If they contact us, fine."

    Illegal: "If we find out you are a Microsoft employee we will not hire you until you quit."

  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:35PM (#31803082)

    That would seem to be the biggest problem for would be switchers. Essentially, their legalese translates into:
      "You must be subjected to a complete mind-wipe before going to work at one of our potential competitors, because if you use any of the specific expertise you developed while working here, you're screwed."

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "You must be subjected to a complete mind-wipe before going to work at one of our potential competitors, because if you use any of the specific expertise you developed while working here, you're screwed."

      Language to that effect would most likely be unenforceable. Companies can't use employment contracts to prevent people from using general industry skills to earn a living, unless perhaps they are willing to take on the person's salary (which happens only for a rare, very senior person pulling in substantial six figures).

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOSpam.mac.com> on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:49PM (#31803194) Journal

    I know plenty of people who've moved between Google and Apple. There's certainly no reluctance on the part of either company to hire staff away from the other.

    -jcr

  • More likely it's a consequence of the non-competes most large companies require employees to sign as a condition of employment, and the risk of getting entangled in litigation if a company hires someone who was subject to such a non-compete. Even if the company can't be liable, it costs money to deal with the matter and extract the company from the litigation. And the employees themselves are probably also touchy about the matter, they can't get themselves out of the mess if a previous employer decides to s

    • by cob666 (656740)
      In quite a few states, blanket non competes are not enforceable.
      • by Todd Knarr (15451)

        Yes, they are. But that doesn't prevent a previous employer from threatening or actually bringing a suit to enforce them. It just means that, after spending a year or two and 20-30 thousand dollars of your own money, you'll have a piece of paper from the court ruling in your favor. And that is the problem employers have with recruiting people who might be subject to a non-compete and worked for a company that might try to enforce it.

  • by Jerry (6400) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @08:49PM (#31803594)

    which is a ploy to avoid hiring American workers in favor of H1B & green card temp workers? It's only "old news" if you have already been replaced by an H-1B.

    I read one ad for Qt4 programmers which required 5 years experience, but tool had only been released in the prior year!

    The most infamous quote by immigration lawyer Larry Lebowitz during the Cohen & Grigsby seminar on employment visas, May 15th, 2007 in Pittsburgh. Lebowitz coached immigration attorneys and employers how to avoid hiring US workers in order to hire foreign workers on green cards:

    "Our goal [youtube.com] is clearly NOT TO FIND a qualified and interested US worker."

    http://www.programmersguild.org/rir/ [programmersguild.org]

    Or, HERE [google.com]

    How U.S. Employers Can Avoid The H1B Cap

    Under the present scenario, U.S. employers can only file H1B petitions for new bachelor-level or master-level H1B workers on one day each year, or on April 1 of each year.

    However, there are some other options available to U.S. employers.

    Alternatives To The H1B Visa

    o Hire U.S. workers.
    o Hire foreign nationals who already have an H1B visa under the H1B "portability" rules.
    o Hire recently graduated students on the USCIS' extended "optional practical training" (OPT) program for certain foreign graduates of U.S. universities.
    o Hire H1B1 workers from Chile or Singapore.
    o Hire E-3 workers from Australia.
    o Hire TN workers from Canada or Mexico.
    o Hire E-2 foreign nationals who own and operate their own companies within the United States.
    o For multinational companies, transfer employees from overseas to the United States under the L-1 visa category.
    o Utilize the U.S. State Department's J-1 visa program to hire foreign "trainees" and "interns".
    o Utilize the H2B "temporary worker" nonimmigrant visa category.

    A TN visa process is an "objective" process in which the USCIS officer determines whether an applicant's credentials meet those listed in NAFTA.

    There is no requirement that a sponsoring employer pay at least the prevailing wage (or actual wage, if higher) for the position being sponsored for the geographic location where the foreign national will work.

    A year ago it was reported [computerworld.com] that H-1B workers OUTNUMBERED unemployed techies!

    H1B and other quotas are set in the Free Trade Agreements with the various countries. Despite the fact that these job ad s

    • A year ago it was reported that H-1B workers OUTNUMBERED unemployed techies!

      You seem to be confused. That ain't all that bad -- break it down to the smallest numbers to see why: 1 H1B worker and 0 unemployed techs.

      Its not really all that meaningful a metric anyway, but I'd say the time to worry is instead when the number of unemployed outnumber the H1Bs.

  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @09:40PM (#31803912) Journal
    You're free to apply for any job at any company you like; what this is about are the players in the game agreeing not to actively seek out their competition's talent. If you want to jump from Apple to Google, or Google to Microsoft, you're free (and probably welcome) to do so. But don't expect Google to actively court you while you work at Apple...
  • by plopez (54068) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @09:57PM (#31804026) Journal

    Before it starts. Slashdot article:
    http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/03/10/1454250 [slashdot.org]

    And i have posted a number of times about it on this and other forums. I'm getting tired of posting it.
    RAND institute, Stanford, Duke, and one other reputable institution I can't remeber have all posted studies on this. There is *no* shortage in SMET fields.

    There is no excuse for the companies, actions.

  • by melted (227442) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @10:04PM (#31804062) Homepage

    Another thing to investigate is non-competes, and non-solicits. They're illegal in CA, but perfectly legal in most other states. Basically it is illegal for you to use your knowledge in the area where you have the most expertise at the moment. WTF?

  • My story and a very close friend of mine story is opposite. We were working for a research arm of Proctor and Gamble as contractors on their Linux High Performance Computing Cluster. Someone in upper management at P&G decided a managed contract would be a better way to do business, what they did not realize (and they did not care) was that we would have to leave because of non compete law. In fact, our users (primarily PhDs) wanted us to stay and maintain the current systems because we delivered great s
  • Poor Activision... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Daetrin (576516) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @11:22PM (#31804600)
    This does not bode well for Activision, who are counter-suing the former executives of Infinity Ward [1up.com] for being "insubordinate [...] self-serving schemers."

    Their supposed crime? Interviewing with EA for a job.

    The "supposed" part should be doubly emphasized. First of all, because so far at least Activision hasn't actually provided any proof that the studio heads were actually doing that. Second of all, because if the Justice Department thinks refusing to hire people because the worked for a competitor is illegal, how are they going to respond to a policy of firing any employees that are suspected of talking to a competitor about a job? Presuming no actual trade secrets were being shared Activision my be setting _themselves_ up for further lawsuits or investigations. Everyone knows that if your current company finds out that you're shopping around for a new job that there might be consequences, but most companies aren't stupid enough to announce in a legal document that it was a direct response intended as a punishment for "misbehaving" employees.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bruha (412869)

      The "Rumor" is enough to get someone fired, I've seen people get others out of their way by using such tactics.

  • Fuck Yes.

    The same goes for AT&T, Verizon, Quest, and any other telecommunication company who do the same things to network engineers.

    While they're at it, do something about their ways of keeping contractors on the payroll for years with a promise of a job that never materializes.

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