Appeals Court Greenlights Apple Anti-poaching Lawsuit

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Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel lost their fight to kill what could become a huge class action lawsuit over their employee anti-poaching agreement. The companies have been accused of agreeing to not hire away each other's employees between 2005 and 2009, which workers claim led to lower pay.

Employee anti-poaching lawsuit against Apple, others, gets to move forwardEmployee anti-poaching lawsuit against Apple, others, gets to move forward

After Federal Judge Lucy Koh granted class action status to employee's lawsuit in October 2013, Apple and the other companies named in the case turned to the Appeals Court in hopes of overturning her ruling. With the Appeals Court backing up Judge Koh, the plaintiffs are free to move forward with their case.

The civil case was filed in 2011 after the companies agreed to a settlement with the Department of Justice where they all agreed to drop their anti-poaching agreement.

With the case set to move forward, Kelly Dermody from Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, the firm representing the plaintiffs, said, We look forward to seeking justice for the class at trial," according to Reuters.

The trial is scheduled to start on May 27, 2014, assuming the parties don't agree to a pre-trial settlement.

None of the companies named in the lawsuit have commented on the Appeals Court ruling.

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With the class action case ready to move forward there's a chance we may see Apple and the other companies named in the suit working towards a settlement. That would most likely cost less than going to trial, and would free up their legal teams for what they see as more pressing matters -- namely, patent infringement lawsuits.

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That these companies got themselves into this situation is ridiculous. The agreement was so obviously wrong that a cheeseburger could have seen that it would get them in legal hot water. Even if the CEOs wanted to do it, it’s the job of the legal department to keep this sort of thing from happening.


“Anti-poaching” always makes me think of some secret group trying to enforce frying or boiling…. grin

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