Is the Tech Collusion Case on the Verge of a Settlement?

Updating a story that we have been following over the past year, a U.S. judge said recently that she was happy with a proposed $415 million settlement that would end an ongoing antitrust class action lawsuit involving major tech companies. Photo of newspaper

Apple Inc, Google Inc and two other tech companies have been accused of blocking companies from making job offers to more than 60,000 employees in a lawsuit filed over collusion claims. The companies allegedly had agreements in place to keep employee salaries low.

According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, recently offered no objections to a $415 million settlement during a preliminary hearing for the case. She has reportedly set a later court date to sign off on the deal.

The settlement would end the lawsuit that was initially filed in 2011. The case stemmed largely from emails in which Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, former Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt and some other executives made agreements not to hire each other’s workers.

It should be noted that last fall, Koh rejected a $324.5 million agreement after one of the plaintiffs objected, saying it was too small.

Talking to an Attorney About a Wage Disagreement

Remember, as this case shows, employer collusion, in an attempt to keep wages low, could result in litigation as it may be illegal. It is not fair for a company to avoid paying market wages to employees by having anti-hiring agreements in place. Keep in mind, it may be a good idea to contact a labor attorney if you have a disagreement with your employer, as you can attempt to use the court system to prove wage claims.

We will update this story in our blog when the settlement agreement is approved by the court.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys