As we blogged about previously, class action lawsuits are a great way to settle wage or overtime disputes involving employment issues, as laws exist to ensure that employees are given fair and just compensation for their services.
In a case generating substantial attention nationally, Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe were accused of colluding with each other to keep wages among employees low. After a class action lawsuit was filed, the companies agreed to a $324.5 million settlement—however, recently, a judge rejected this settlement.
According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose said the class action settlement was too low, given the strength of the case against the companies. There is “substantial and compelling evidence” that late Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs “was a, if not the, central figure in the alleged conspiracy,” Koh wrote, according to Reuters.
The lawsuit alleged that the conspiracy had limited employee job mobility and, as a result, kept a lid on salaries, according to Reuters. The companies agreed to settle the case in April, before the start of a trial—it has been reported that plaintiffs’ were planning to ask for about $3 billion in damages at trial, which could have tripled to $9 billion under antitrust law.
Who Should I Talk to About Possible Wage Violations?
Although in the short-term, the settlement was large, the fact that the judge in this case has denied it because there is substantial evidence suggesting that a bigger award should be given is a good thing for the employees.
It is shameful that companies would agree not to hire each other’s workers as a way to keep wages low. Contact our Los Angeles employment lawyers today if you are experiencing wage issues at your workplace. You could be entitled to damages. Call us today to discuss your options.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment attorneys