Google, Intel, Apple, and several other silicon valley tech giants are under investigation by a San Jose, California federal court. Several employees raised concerns that the three tech giants colluded to avoid hiring employees away from their respective firms.
The case is being overseen by US District Judge Lucy Koh, and she believes internal emails prove that the three companies formed an agreement that would provide financial hiring benefits for each other. If the companies are found guilty, they would be in violation of Federal law.
The case was brought before Judge Koh after five former employees filed a lawsuit against the tech firms.
According to Electronista:
“The judge feels that at the time the no-poaching arrangement was negotiated, the executives of the companies felt that a collective hiring approach was more efficient than one-on-one dealings with employees. The judge did not rule on the hearing topics today.”
The plaintiff attorney who filed the case believe Apple, Intel, and Google should be forced to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for their parts in the hiring collusion.
Adobe attorney Robert Mittelstaedt claims that it would be impossible for employees to prove that their finances were impacted by any agreement among tech firms.
While employees from all involved company’s may have been able to find other jobs, collusion can lead to led employment options, which in turn can dramatically affect workers from receiving pay increases, bonuses, and other incentives by jumping from one company to another. Collusion also allows businesses to restrict retention models to avoid higher pay.