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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tech companies in US accused of 'conspiring' to keep salaries low

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Many high tech companies like Google, Apple, Adobe, Intel has been accused for violating antitrust laws by allegedly conspiring to fix employee pay. Joseph R Saveri of the national plaintiffs' law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, US, announced that Siddharth Hariharan, a former software engineer at Lucasfilm and founder and CEO of InEarth, has filed a class action lawsuit charging that several of the US' leading high-tech companies violated antitrust laws by conspiring to fix the pay of their employees and entering into 'No Solicitation' agreements with each other. 
The Companies are accused for the violating antitrust laws by allegedly conspiring to fix employee pay and had been asked for the compensation and treble damages for the anti-competitive employment practices. 

'My colleagues at Lucasfilm and I applied our skills, knowledge, and creativity to make the company an industry leader,' stated Hariharan. 'It's disappointing that, while we were working hard to make terrific products that resulted in enormous profits for Lucasfilm, senior executives of the company cut deals with other premiere high tech companies to eliminate competition and cap pay for skilled employees.' 
"Competition in the labor market results in better salaries, enhanced career opportunities for employees, and better products for consumers," stated Saveri. "We estimate that because of reduced competition for their services, compensation for skilled employees at Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar was reduced by 10 to 15 percent. These companies owe their tremendous successes to the sacrifices and hard work of their employees, and must take responsibility for their misconduct." 

The complaint alleges the conspiracy among defendants consisted of

  • agreements not to actively recruit each other's employees 
  • agreements to provide notification when making an offer to another's employee (without the knowledge or consent of that employee)
  • agreements to cap pay packages offered to prospective employees at the initial offer.

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