Judge Rejects $324.5M Settlement of Tech Wage Case
A federal judge has decided a $324.5 million settlement isn't enough to cover the damages done to more than 60,000 high-tech workers in a class-action lawsuit alleging Google and Apple conspired with other technology companies to block their top employees from getting better job offers.
The ruling Friday by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh scotches a settlement reached in April, prolonging a 3-year-old case that paints a mean-spirited picture of late Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs and other prominent Silicon Valley executives.
Koh estimated that the workers deserve at least $380 million, based on the evidence indicating their earning power was undermined by the collusion among their employers. ...
Earlier this week, I talked to an attorney who worked on the case. He said he was around for the lengthy depositions of Mr. Lucas and Dr. Catmull. And that neither appeared to have misgivings about the wage cartel they set up to suppress salaries of hundreds of tech employees.
I guess if you're shafting people for the greater good of the industry (as that good is defined by management), it's all fine.
Add On: Pando Daily, which has been eloquent in its coverage of the wage-theft cartel, notes this:
... As we’ve reported earlier, this is the first case experts know of in which antitrust law was used to successfully certify a class action wage theft lawsuit.
Here are some excerpts from Judge Koh’s order denying the settlement:
“Plaintiffs are correct that there are particularly clear statements from Lucasfilm and Pixar executives regarding the nature and goals of the alleged conspiracy. Specifically, Edward Catmull (Pixar President) conceded in his deposition that anti- solicitation agreements were in place because solicitation ‘messes up the pay structure.’ Similarly, George Lucas (former Lucasfilm Chairman of the Board and CEO) stated, ‘we cannot get into a bidding war with other companies because we don’t have the margins for that sort of thing.’ ...
But Ed and George have a point: Markets are bad. Especially when they make poor struggling companies have to pay more.
"Long live free enterprise! But only when it makes the right people richer!"