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$415 million settlement approved in Silicon Valley employee poaching case

A federal judge has tentatively approved a $415 million settlement in the employee no-poaching scandal engulfing Silicon Valley's biggest tech companies.
By
March 5, 2015
lawsuit

Silicon Valley workers have had their major class action lawsuit against Apple, Google and several other major technology companies tentatively approved by the federal judge dealing with the case. The lawsuit seeks a $415 million settlement for illegal no-poaching agreements designed to prevent rival companies from hiring each other’s employees.

The issue for employees here is that these no-poaching agreements allegedly prevented staff from negotiating better jobs or pay conditions at rival firms, effectively unfairly limiting industry wages. The case was fuelled by numerous emails and other communications exchanged between high-level managers and CEOs at top Silicon Valley companies, which point to widespread agreements not to poach staff from competing firms.

Judge Lucy Koh had previously rejected the first proposal for a settlement valued at $324 million, as it was deemed too low to cover the wages lost by employees affected by the agreement. Companies involved in the case have agreed to increase the amount they would pay out in compensation, which, if agreed to, will avoid an embarrassing trial for some of the US’ leading technology firms.

The parties involved have three months to submit final comments before the judge approves the settlement on June 9th.