The AP story popped up on my radar over the weekend…”Suit Claims Silicon Valley Scheme”…”Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, Lucasfilm, Pixar and Apple accused of anti-poaching conspiracy.”
Workers for some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley filed a lawsuit in Federal Court claiming senior execs were able to keep employee wages artificially low by preventing bidding wars for their services. In other words, these workers were not receiving recruiting cold-calls inquiring as to if they would be interested to move elsewhere, how much they might make to do so, etc.
The companies allegedly had agreements not to recruit employees away from each other, effectively locking workers up with no fear of them being poached.
The Justice Department was already aware of the issue, conducting an investigation a couple of years ago that resulted in a “settlement.” That’s in quotes because there are scant details about what that meant in this instance.
There will be plenty of detail this time around, especially if the plaintiffs succeed in turning this into a class-action affair.
Considering the wages these folks command and what they might have received in positions never opened to them…even these giants of industry will need to locate and empty some piggy banks to compensate.
From a creative writing standpoint, it is impossible to ignore the irony during all of this Apple was headed by Steve…Jobs. This jobs war will be fascinating to follow as it rolls out. Aside from the financial impact for both plaintiffs and defendants, it will likely serve as a cautionary tale for other industries that may be…or may be considering…using the same “strategy.”