Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Businesses

Anti-Poaching Lawsuit Against Apple, Google and Others Given the Green Light 172

Posted by samzenpus
from the hands-off dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A class action lawsuit against Apple, Google and a number of other high-profile tech companies has been given the green light by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh. The lawsuit stems from anti-poaching agreements that Apple a number of tech companies entered into from 2005 through 2009. Parties to the agreement all promised not to recruit employees from one another. The companies involved include Apple, Intel, Google, Intuit, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Adobe."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Anti-Poaching Lawsuit Against Apple, Google and Others Given the Green Light

Comments Filter:
  • by postmortem (906676) on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:12PM (#45260857) Journal

    ...you get to see the tip of the iceberg

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      Judging by the color and smell, I don't think that's an iceberg.

      (Unless all pictures of icebergs I've ever seen are "embellished", in which case I pity the survivors from the Titanic).

  • by hwstar (35834) on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:12PM (#45260869)

    Time to add anti-poaching to the California Business and Professions code to make it strictly forbidden. This keeps coming up year-after year. There needs to be a law to protect the free market for talent. California should lead the way, but it would be really nice to see it at the Federal level as well.

    • That's such a futile approach to becoming an absolute bayernude, don't you think?

      • by jbov (2202938)
        What is a bayernude?
    • by istartedi (132515) on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:29PM (#45261089) Journal

      Is an update really necessary? Isn't collusion already illegal? The only difference between this and some almond growers secretly meeting to fix prices is that the almonds are people. OMG, I just realized something. People are almonds, corporations are people, therefore... Corporations are almonds. I'm not sure exactly what we've discovered here; but I'm pretty sure it involves quantum mechanics and heavy drinking.

      • by Drethon (1445051)
        I think we need new categories, sarcasm +1 and sarcasm -1 to be used as appropriate... sorry, messed up random thoguht of the day.
      • Or maybe you were just drunk last night and watched Soylent Green while eating almonds.

      • by Yebyen (59663)

        Pretty sure I remember a joke from my Quantum professor about that, involving an easily memorable statement of the digits in Pi out to 15 digits.

        Ah, yes... here it is:
        How I need a drink, alcoholic of course after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.
        3.14159265358989

      • Is an update really necessary? Isn't collusion already illegal? The only difference between this and some pistachio growers secretly meeting to fix prices is that the pistachios are people. OMG, I just realized something. People are pistachios , corporations are people, therefore... Corporations are pistachios .

        Fix that for you... Now we can have pistachio cracking jokes...

        Corporations do it behind closed doors....

    • IIRC there is already some federal laws on this. Part of the laws forbid cooperation on hiring which are part of the labor laws / monopoly laws. Part of the law forbids pooching, in particular when one firm tries hiring away entire departments from another firm, as an anti-competitive tactic.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        I don't think there's a government or large organization in the world that doesn't have at least some employees pooching. It's practically a sport in some cases.

        • Well, yes, and in some cases that it’s perfectly fine but not so much in others. Let’s take the current World Series. The Red Socks can’t pouch all of the Cardinals’ pitchers in the middle of the series. That would be a exterme case. That would be anti-competitive – as well as breaking some MLB rules.

          The pouching cases I am thinking about is when everybody (from the department manager to the assistants) in a functional department (sales office, specialized technical team, or s

          • Red Sox cannot poach Cardinals' pitchers during the World Series because there are collective bargaining clauses between the league and players associations to bar that from happening. But Red Sox can sign any free agent from Cardinals when they are available.

            There are no such collective bargaining agreements between employees and employers in Silicon Valley. You are working with "at will" agreements which can be broken at any time. There is nothing stopping anyone from poaching other company's employees, s

          • The pouching cases I am thinking about is when everybody (from the department manager to the assistants) in a functional department (sales office, specialized technical team, or something else that is self-contained.) hands in their resignation letters en mass at 4 p.m. on Friday and show up across the street on Monday doing their old job for a competitor. I have seen some companies seriously gimped by such a move. In the case of a sales office defecting there are supposed to leave client lists behind but they almost never do.

            I suppose that was in one of those places in the USA where the company could have fired the whole department as well if they wanted to, leaving their employees "seriously gimped". Now a company has no feelings and no wife and children, while the employees have feelings, wives and children, so what?

        • by turp182 (1020263)

          I do not believe you understand the meaning of the word "pooching". Nor do I, but I'm assuming it is a despicable act...

    • The law of unintended consequences would indicate that this could be exploited if corporations collude to use such a law to keep downward pressure on employee compensation. If none of your employer's competitors will hire you because of anti-poaching laws, then your employer has no motivation to treat you well because they know you have no place else to go unless you completely change careers, and that would have it's own downward pressure on compensation.
    • While we're at it, let's make it illegal to murder someone in_the_morning. Oh wait, California already did that I bet.

      Half of the companies involved have already paid up. With the most recent ruling, the judge is saying the others will probably be held liable too. As the Palm CEO said, this is already illegal and has been for along time. We don't need more laws, a few million pages is enough.

      Oddly, it's the opposite going the other way in some states. Employees are REQUIRED to collude and stick by t

  • Lawyer settle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kohath (38547) on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:20PM (#45260967)

    Typical class actions: Lawyers will settle for $20 million dollars for the lawyers and $3 for each person who didn't get a job.

    • That's ok. Most of those people got $20M in stock options.

    • by neo-mkrey (948389)
      and the $3 will be a credit to be used in the AppStore.
    • But the important question is "will these companies stop the anti-worker conspiracy." It's like hitting your dog with a rolled up newspaper for pooping on the floor. It won't clean up the poop: that's not the point.
      • by Kohath (38547)

        Then the lawyers shouldn't get to hit the jackpot. It's supposed to be a "justice system", not a giant lottery system for lawyers.

        • "Should" and "shouldn't" are fun to discuss, but I think were there not a payoff for lawyers, few lawyers would ever go after giant corporations. Moreover, why not? A company being punished for bad behavior = good. A company being punished for bad behavior AND a few lawyers getting a lot of money = same amount of good.
  • wtf? in the 21st Century? This looks like a clear violation of the US Anti-Trust rules against agreeing not to compete in a market. Or agreeing to boycott suppliers. Even a wink is illegal.

    I work for a similar mega-corp and we are continually drilled in the importance of Anti-Trust. Where were their lawyers?

    Monopsony is far worse than monopoly because you can always decline to buy. Does anyone have any explanation beyond rank corruption?

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:55PM (#45261413)

    The only persons that win these are the lawyers.

  • ... is "the maintaining of prices at a certain level by agreement between competing sellers". Switch sellers to employers and prices to wages, and you've got what this agreement is, and it should be just as illegal.

  • by Drathos (1092) on Monday October 28, 2013 @02:21PM (#45261681)

    Maybe I'm not understanding this agreement, but to me it sounds like they just agreed not to actively recruit from each other. I've never seen anything indicating that, for example, an Apple employee couldn't apply for a position at Google (and vice versa).

    • by mjr167 (2477430)
      No, they actually agreed not to hire each others employees. So Apple would reject a Google resume and vice versa.
    • I guess it depends on if they discriminate against unemployed people. If they don't actively hire people from other companies, and they don't hire unemployed people, and if they don't employ people for life, then that could easily be an abusive situation. A steady stream of fresh employees to replace the ones who would otherwise be getting pay raises, leaving a bunch of unemployed or underemployed people.
  • by Kagato (116051) on Monday October 28, 2013 @02:23PM (#45261703)

    From Ed response to Steve Jobs:

    "Your proposal that we agree that neither company will hire the other's employees, regardless of the individual's desires, is not only wrong, it is likely illegal. [...] Palm doesn't target other companies -- we look for the best people we can find. l'd hope the same could be said about Apple's practices. However, during the last year or so, as Apple geared up to compete with Palm in the phone space, Apple hired at least 2 percent of Palm's workforce. To put it in perspective, had Palm done the same, we'd have hired 300 folks from Apple. Instead, to my knowledge, we've hired just three."

  • When I worked for Borland we used to joke that we were Microsoft's training site, because so many employees were either recruited away or just plain left for MS.

    Even the non-compete's don't work because MS have so many types of projects they can put you on something different till your non-compete expires.

  • The fact that this phenomenon has been given the term "poaching" by these corporations shows exactly what they think of you, the tech worker.

    • A rare breed worth risking your neck to hunt?

  • If this doesn't end up like a typical class action suite Apple and the other big players could end up paying out Billions in damages, probably making it the most expensive lawsuit ever and making an ever so small dent in the mountains of cash they've managed to pile up.

    • by NoKaOi (1415755)

      If this doesn't end up like a typical class action suite Apple and the other big players could end up paying out Billions in damages, probably making it the most expensive lawsuit ever and making an ever so small dent in the mountains of cash they've managed to pile up.

      That is sarcasm, right? You damn well know that this is going to end up like a typical class action suit. At worst the companies will have to pay out a few million dollars each and apologize. The lawyers will get rich, and the employees will get just enough to buy a Big Mac.

  • "... that Apple a number of tech companies ..."

    should be:

    "... that Apple and a number of tech companies ..."

  • Does this mean that the boards of these organizations will get prosecuted for membership of a criminal organization? Will all profits (including the ones made abroad) be ceased? After all, this is large scale fixing of prices (for labor) by large, evidently criminal organizations. If the Mafia bosses go to jail for stuff like this and all their money taken, why not these companies?
    • by NoKaOi (1415755)

      Does this mean that the boards of these organizations will get prosecuted for membership of a criminal organization? Will all profits (including the ones made abroad) be ceased? After all, this is large scale fixing of prices (for labor) by large, evidently criminal organizations. If the Mafia bosses go to jail for stuff like this and all their money taken, why not these companies?

      Because mafia bosses only give bribes at the municipal level. These large organizations give bribes ("campaign contributions") at the federal level.

Our business is run on trust. We trust you will pay in advance.

Working...