Employees File Request to Include Steve Jobs Evidence in Anti-Poaching Lawsuit

by

Apple, Google and two other large technology companies should not be allowed to block evidence in an upcoming trial involving their participation in "no solicitation" agreements that date back to 2005. This request to expand the evidence presented in the trial was filed on behalf of tech workers who initiated the class action lawsuit in 2011, reports Reuters.

Apple Announces New iPhone At Developers Conference
In this latest filing, the tech workers argue that all evidence pertaining to the companies involved, including the "bullying" personality of Steve Jobs, the personal wealth of Google co-founder Sergey Brin and other information gleaned from outside sources should be included in the case.

"That the jury might draw conclusions about Mr. Jobs' character based on evidence showing the manner in which he pursued the conspiracy at the heart of this case is not grounds to exclude such evidence," they wrote.

Additionally, the plaintiffs seek to introduce evidence about the personal wealth of executives like Google co-founder Sergey Brin - and how it could be enhanced by holding down workers' salaries and boosting margins, according to the filing.

The plaintiffs also seek to include information on an earlier investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice that prevented the companies from entering into future no-hire agreements. "The jury should know the reason the companies eliminated their no-hire agreements," argue the employees.

Apple, Google and five other large technology companies were caught signing "no solicitation" agreements that prevented the companies from trying to hire away each others' employees. Engineers, programmers, and other technical professionals who believe they were negatively affected by these non-poaching agreements filed a class action lawsuit in 2011 that is slated to begin this May. Damages could reach $9 billion in this case.

Currently, both sides are locked in negotiations, with the hope that a settlement can reached before the trial begins next month. Some companies, such as Pixar and Intuit, have already agreed to settle the case with Disney paying about $9 million and Intuit paying $11 million.

Top Rated Comments

schmidm77 Avatar
88 months ago

Maybe I'm missing something here...

So the companies made an agreement not to actively go around trying to lure each other's emoloyees away from each other.

However, nothing was stopping said employees from actively looking for 'better opportunities' in other companies.

So? Nothing was stopping anyone from getting a job.

From what I can see, it strikes me that the employees are complaining because they wanted to get companies into bidding wars to artifislly inflate their salaries. Of course companies would like to avoid that to keep costs don't but to also keep skilled workers.

Not saying it's right. But I'm having a hard time seeing exactly what's wrong.



You have it wrong. Consumers bidding up prices is how you arrive at the true equilibrium price for a thing, in this case employers paying for skilled employees. That fact that this group of employers were engaged in a cartel-like anti-poaching agreement, meant that the wages for employees were likely below the market rate.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nzalog Avatar
88 months ago

Maybe I'm missing something here...

So the companies made an agreement not to actively go around trying to lure each other's emoloyees away from each other.

However, nothing was stopping said employees from actively looking for 'better opportunities' in other companies.

So? Nothing was stopping anyone from getting a job.

From what I can see, it strikes me that the employees are complaining because they wanted to get companies into bidding wars to artifislly inflate their salaries. Of course companies would like to avoid that to keep costs don't but to also keep skilled workers.

Not saying it's right. But I'm having a hard time seeing exactly what's wrong.


It's the equivalent of price fixing.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
theheadguy Avatar
88 months ago

Maybe I'm missing something here...So the companies made an agreement not to actively go around trying to lure each other's emoloyees away from each other. However, nothing was stopping said employees from actively looking for 'better opportunities' in other companies. So? Nothing was stopping anyone from getting a job. From what I can see, it strikes me that the employees are complaining because they wanted to get companies into bidding wars to artifislly inflate their salaries. Of course companies would like to avoid that to keep costs don't but to also keep skilled workers. Not saying it's right. But I'm having a hard time seeing exactly what's wrong.

One of the main avenues which highly skilled and educated individuals pursue great opportunities is a result of recruiters who know about what positions are available within their own organizations and are able identify what is likely a great fit for the individual. To have your own company conspire with others to eliminate that benefit for you is wrong.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nzalog Avatar
88 months ago

How? You have a business, you agree to a strategic partnership with my company which gives me access to my key employees. Technically you are paying me to use my tech, but I use this access that I wouldn't otherwise have to steal your employees. Your venture is now compromised on several fronts. One, I can now compete with you with the people you have developed. I didn't have to take a chance on them because I got to see them in action before hand and know they have the inside scoop. You will now have to replace your key employees and hope not to derail your development. These agreements actually increased the worth of the employees because companies were more likely to partner. The other issue is if these employees were unhappy they would be looking on their own, which is not a problem here. To solicit a partners employees is like picking low hanging fruit. Requires no effort. They can determine how much they are making and quite happy with and just keep making the offers until they get a bite.


Because it artificially deflates the pay. If people make you offers, your company has a choice to match or let you go. Eventually you come to an equilibrium of what you are actually worth and how much you are getting paid. At this point employers are getting a great deal by artificially holding down the value of someone with your skill level.

It's the same thing as price fixing, the other tactic that makes companies more money than they deserve and circumvents supply and demand.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
88 months ago

Im not agreeing with either side in this case, but as a developer myself (and have been for 20 years), working for a smaller company because it is hard to get a high paying developer job with a well known company unless you know the right people (because most companies poach from other big companies so unless i already work at a big company i cant get a job at a big company), I see these anti-poaching agreements as a benefit to me, and making them illegal as compromising my career growth. And the fact of the matter is, the developers in this suit are already making at least 6 figures, and are trying to get money from nothing in this lawsuit to get richer, and further prevent these companies from having job opening for someone like me.

And yes, it is money from nothing, because while you can prove that they were not actively searching out to poach employees, that is no reason to say they would have offered any one person a job, and that you would have accepted or it would have been better than your current offer. And as some have pointed out, there was nothing stopping these people from looking for jobs themselves... In fact, these companies all agreeing to a anti-poaching agreement so easily leads me to believe the CEOs would have done things exactly the same without such agreement.

And lastly (again speaking as a developer myself) - I would prefer that Employee Poaching was just illegal across the board, anytime some other small company has come to me with a job offer (that i dont want and wasnt looking for) it worries me that if my boss finds out he may start looking to replace me... If i want a new job i will look for it myself thank you very much...


It sounds like you're advocating technological serfdom. I can't quite wrap my mind around your argument. Hypothetical: Recruiter calls you about an exciting opportunity at a Fortune 100 tech firm. You're all excited. You dream of 6 figure salary, expense account, company car, and all the other accouterments of this fictitious position. Recruiter calls you back to say "Sorry bud, position was filled." Subsequently you find out your current company is part of a no poaching agreement. Your possible advancement just went out the window. Granted there was no guarantee you would get the job, but the opportunity was there for you to seize. Here's the important part: Because of that agreement, you have no opportunity at all. More importantly, the agreement is secret so you don't even know you have no opportunity. That's BS.

This is just a bit of advice, please take it with a grain of salt. If you're working for a boss that would think of replacing you because you were head hunted, you may want new job. And this statement: " I see these anti-poaching agreements as a benefit to me, and making them illegal as compromising my career growth." That's one of the sadder things I've read"

So it this: "If i want a new job i will look for it myself thank you very much..."

Opportunity doesn't always present itself when you want it to do so. You can be happy in current job when an opportunity comes. Then you have a choice to make. Removing the ability to even have a choice, that's what this is about.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
diegogaja Avatar
88 months ago
Maybe I'm missing something here...

So the companies made an agreement not to actively go around trying to lure each other's emoloyees away from each other.

However, nothing was stopping said employees from actively looking for 'better opportunities' in other companies.

So? Nothing was stopping anyone from getting a job.

From what I can see, it strikes me that the employees are complaining because they wanted to get companies into bidding wars to artifislly inflate their salaries. Of course companies would like to avoid that to keep costs don't but to also keep skilled workers.

Not saying it's right. But I'm having a hard time seeing exactly what's wrong.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
maxresdefault

Microsoft Touts Surface Pro 7 as 'The Better Choice' Over MacBook Pro in New Ad

Saturday January 23, 2021 11:02 am PST by
Microsoft yesterday shared a new ad on YouTube titled "Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Better Choice," in which the company compares its tablet computer to Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, as spotted by MSPoweruser. The ad highlights the Surface Pro 7's touchscreen and included stylus as opposed to only a "little bar" (the Touch Bar) on the MacBook Pro. Other advantages of the Surface Pro 7...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...