Both Apple and Google, along with two further Silicon Valley companies, now face a group antitrust hiring lawsuit representing more than 64,000 employees “claiming their incomes were held down by the companies’ agreements not to recruit one another’s workers,” Bloomberg reports.
Potential class members include as many as 64,626 software and hardware engineers, programmers, animators, digital artists, and Web developers, the original article claims. Bloomberg goes on to explain:
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, yesterday granted class-action certification. Koh’s ruling follows an April ruling rejecting the employees’ bid to proceed as a class — partly because they failed to demonstrate that all or almost all class members were affected by the anti-solicitation agreements — and an August hearing in which she said the case was “much stronger” after additional pretrial information gathering.
The original suit, which was filed in 2011, details arrangements between Apple, Adobe, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. Out of this selection, Intuit has settled, agreeing to pay out $11 million.
Both Lucasfilm and Pixar agreed to settle, too, and will together pay $9 million. Koh noted, however, that employees from the three companies represent just eight percent of the class.
So far, Apple and Adobe have declined to comment on the matter. In an email response to the ruling, Google said: “We have always actively and aggressively recruited top talent.”
As such, Apple, Adobe, Google, and Intel are the remaining defendants. We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
In the meantime, see: One Report Claims Apple’s iPhone 5s Features Inferior Touch Displays, Can You Access Apple’s iCloud Keychain In Your Country?, and U.S. Cellular To Offer iPad Air From Nov. 8, Regional Carriers To Follow.