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October 29, 2013 / Steven Soliman

Lawsuit Against Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel Gets Class Action Certification

U.S. federal judge Lucy Koh has granted class action status to a lawsuit against Silicon Valley companies Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel. The lawsuit alleges that the companies struck an anti-poaching deal from 2005 through 2009 in which they agreed not to compete for each other’s employees, and which ultimately left workers stuck at a lower pay because employers weren’t competing for their skills. Specifically, the defendants are accused of violating the Sherman Act and Clayton Act antitrust laws by conspiring to eliminate competition for labor, which deprived workers of job mobility and hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation.

The lawsuit was filed in 2011 by five software engineers who alleged an “overarching conspiracy” to suppress employee compensation to artificially low levels. Most of the case has been built on email correspondence between top Silicon Valley executives, including the late Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs and former Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt.

In the original complaint, the plaintiffs sought certification of an “All Employee” class, which included every salaried employee throughout the United States who worked for the defendant companies between 2005 and 2009, which was estimated to be more than 100,000. However, Judge Koh instead certified a proposed class of technical employees, including software and hardware engineers, component designers, and application developers. The plaintiffs believe this proposed class includes more than 50,000 people.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of unlawful employment practices, please contact Khorrami Boucher Sumner Sanguinetti, LLP for a private consultation.

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