A case was filed against some of the Silicon Valley’s best known companies by the workers, in 2011, who accused these companies of conspiring to avoid poaching of one another’s employees. The companies who were accused included Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC).
The case alleged that these companies have illegally made an agreement to not hire employees of each other in order to keep a lid on salaries and reduce job mobility. A federal judge on March 4, 2015 has approved a $415 million settlement in this major class law suit brought by the workers.
Judge Lucy Koh, a Federal District Court Judge, earlier rejected a lower settlement of $324.5 million. She stated that the amount did not offer enough compensation to 64000 employees who worked for the companies for four years in 2005-2009. She also cited proof of a corporate conspiracy to make it difficult for the tech workers to deal out better jobs at the rival companies.
On the tentative approval of the settlement on $415 million, Koh said that this more attractive proposal was sufficiently fair, reasonable and accurate to compensate the potentially thousands of salaried employees working in these companies.
There were three other companies originally named in the suit- Lucasfilm Limited, Pixar Animation Studios Inc. and Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) who opted for settlement in the year 2013 for $20 million.
The case has been closely observed because of the possibility of big damages being accrued and for the chance to peek into the world of some of elite tech firms. Judge Lucy Koh has invited final discussions on the deal on June 9. If this latest settlement gets approved by Koh, it would save these big tech firms from huge embarrassing trial. However all the companies involved in the proposed settlement said that this settlement does not signify a confession of guilt on the part of the companies.