Photo: iz.mendoza via flickr
Strong evidence has surfaced in a class-action suit between employees and the power players in Silicon Valley that could help the employees win their case.In May, employees at Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar filed a class-action suit against their employers claiming they conspired to keep wages artificially low.
Now papers from a previous DOJ investigation on the matter have been released that help them prove their claims, TechCrunch reports. (A full copy of the DOJ legal papers, with the juiciest parts redacted, can be seen on TechCrunch.)
These companies were investigated by the Department of Justice last year. The companies had apparently decided that they wouldn’t hire away employees from each other. Plus, they had reportedly agreed to secretly call one another if an employee was in negotiations for a job. This was done without the employee’s knowledge, much less consent, according to the lawyer for the employees. In a press release at the time the lawyer said:
“The complaint alleges the conspiracy among defendants consisted of (1) agreements not to actively recruit each other’s employees; (2) agreements to provide notification when making an offer to another’s employee (without the knowledge or consent of that employee); and (3) agreements to cap pay packages offered to prospective employees at the initial offer.”
It’s that part about conspiring over wages that really has these employees ticked off.
In September, each company avoided litigation with the DOJ by agreeing to end these practices though they didn’t admit guilt. But they didn’t do anything to compensate employees whose careers (and pay) might have been affected.
Hence the lawsuit.