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Old Apr 18, 2014, 09:37 AM   #1
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Employees File Request to Include Steve Jobs Evidence in Anti-Poaching Lawsuit




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.

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.
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"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.

Article Link: Employees File Request to Include Steve Jobs Evidence in Anti-Poaching Lawsuit
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 09:43 AM   #2
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The rich get richer.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 09:44 AM   #3
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The Valley has always been a cut-throat place for both employees and employers. Surprised these companies aren't moving away from there. Lots of good hi-tech college towns exist throughout the US that would be better for both employees and employers. Come on guys, it's all just software and that can be done remote!
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 10:04 AM   #4
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The rich get richer.
This isn't just the rich getting richer.

If you were a developer back when this agreement was made - your career growth could have been seriously compromised. To what extent it's hard to say.

Last edited by dejo; Apr 18, 2014 at 11:46 AM. Reason: quoted post / response deleted.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 10:25 AM   #5
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The Valley has always been a cut-throat place for both employees and employers. Surprised these companies aren't moving away from there. Lots of good hi-tech college towns exist throughout the US that would be better for both employees and employers. Come on guys, it's all just software and that can be done remote!
That's the thing, it's not just software, it's business. A lot of things can be done remote but not the most important part of all, making deals and networking.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 10:53 AM   #6
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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.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 11:20 AM   #7
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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.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 11:24 AM   #8
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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.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 11:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by diegogaja View Post
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.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 12:27 PM   #10
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I'm not sure that including this information will help their case. Is there anyone on a jury who does not understand that CEOs of giant companies are rich narcissists?

There are plenty of rich, narcissistic CEOs that didn't collude, so I don't know how this ends up being relevant.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 02:06 PM   #11
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It's the equivalent of price fixing.
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.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 02:54 PM   #12
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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.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 02:56 PM   #13
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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.
With the small settlements reached by Disney with its own PIXAR and Intuit, I highly doubt the `$9 Billion' will be remotely in the ball park.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 03:39 PM   #14
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This isn't just the rich getting richer.

If you were a developer back when this agreement was made - your career growth could have been seriously compromised. To what extent it's hard to say.

Ironically, this reminds me of Steve Jobs famous quote from 2005 about pushing beyond the boundaries and making your own future destiny.

I wonder if it is now inevitable that each new generation must work outside the established system/path to success (which is designed to protect the success of previous generations), and make their own path, just to find an equal opportunity path towards success.

It's convenient to trumpet the merits of pushing beyond boundaries when one wants to build a successful career, but when that same person also later blocks that same path to success for younger generations to protect self-interests, it is just a double standard.

We wouldn't need to push beyond boundaries if we invested in the growth and success of future generations again, just as companies used to have legitimate training programs through apprenticeships to help younger workers establish careers, thereby investing back into the future health of the company.

Now we just use the word "intern" as a convenient tax code to justify free labor, without the same loyalty commitment to training or development that internships and apprenticeships were designed for - and without any investment into the health of the company's future workforce.

If companies were more invested in the professional growth and development of younger generations, then companies would have less turnover, and employees would have more loyalty. The reason employees are less loyal to employers is because employers, beginning with their leadership, have decided first, collectively, not to be loyal to them. They sought short-term investor approval and profit over long-term stability and growth. But one can't demand loyalty without first giving it.

This price fixing is the corporate response to keep dissatisfied employees from pursuing better opportunities elsewhere. Rather than offering loyalty and career incentives to their employees, and rather than investing into their own future, they chose to dis-incentivize paths towards outside growth and development. They were "encouraging" employee career success by applying negative reinforcement - placing boundaries and limits on which those employees are now trying to push beyond.


Taken at face-value, many of Steve Jobs' quotes are inspirational, but perhaps only when viewed from his perspective. I think there is still much we could learn from his life, and probably best when taken with a grain of salt.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 03:59 PM   #15
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…..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…..
But the question is, did those employees have a realistic chance to move up, and be hired by the other tech company, as those other companies were obviously aware of the applicant's former employer, and maybe would shun them for exactly that reason?

Not that this will make much difference in the upcoming class-action civil suit, but I don't believe wage fixing and lower payroll costs for these companies, was the prime objective of those agreements, but rather an unintended side effect.

One of the worst fears of high-tech companies is not only losing their top talent, but additionally, competitors acquiring their most talented workers who, despite NDAs, take with them an intimate knowledge of the workings, product development, and intended roadmap of their --by now previous --employer, and who by extension, could be giving these new employers a serious advantage.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 07:41 PM   #16
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This isn't just the rich getting richer.

If you were a developer back when this agreement was made - your career growth could have been seriously compromised. To what extent it's hard to say.
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...
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 08:07 PM   #17
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Taken at face-value, many of Steve Jobs' quotes are inspirational, but perhaps only when viewed from his perspective. I think there is still much we could learn from his life, and probably best when taken with a grain of salt.
Inspirational? On multiple fronts, many "boundaries" Jobs pushed past were legal boundaries, or laws. Him and Woz phreaking, "great artists steal", eBooks price fixing, anti-poaching agreements, and I'm sure there's more many of us will never know about. He may have ran a great company, which made revolutionary products, but he didn't do it alone.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 11:22 PM   #18
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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.
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Old Apr 19, 2014, 03:03 AM   #19
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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' .........
Thank you for your application, I can tell from your professional qualifications that you are just the type we want as part of our team. Tell me, your current or last employer was...?

Same deal... If one could just resign, wait a week then go to tbe rivals and apply...there would be no point in hacking a deal to prevent poaching.
Its a cert that somewhere another clause would be.....having ceased employment at xxxxxxxxxx two years prior to application ...or similar wording.

----------

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Originally Posted by schmidm77 View Post
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.
Its not just about changing jobs that they all signed up.....its what they worked on and what they know...that helps them into higher paid jobs.
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Old Apr 19, 2014, 05:10 AM   #20
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Eventually this won't matter since they'll be outsourcing a lot of this stuff anyways. Then, the code monkeys will really be scrambling for a job. Just saying.
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Old Apr 19, 2014, 04:56 PM   #21
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Eventually this won't matter since they'll be outsourcing a lot of this stuff anyways. Then, the code monkeys will really be scrambling for a job. Just saying.
Outsourcing overseas has been on the decline for the last three or four years. Companies have begin to realized the limits of cookie-cutter coding, and have come to appreciate the role of design, which required deep integration among team members.
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Old Apr 19, 2014, 09:42 PM   #22
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Like they say

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely".

Pity.

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Old Apr 20, 2014, 09:09 AM   #23
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Millionaires suing billionaires over wages. Just like major sports leagues' labor disputes.

Bored.
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Old Apr 21, 2014, 08:16 AM   #24
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But the question is, did those employees have a realistic chance to move up, and be hired by the other tech company, as those other companies were obviously aware of the applicant's former employer, and maybe would shun them for exactly that reason?
If not, then the 'anti-poaching' agreement had exactly zero impact on said employees' wages. Because, to date, there's no evidence to indicate that said companies would 'shun' employees from other companies who came *looking* for a new position. (In fact, there have been a few publicly visible examples of exactly the opposite while these agreements were in place.)
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Old Apr 21, 2014, 08:44 AM   #25
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I used to work in a consulting firm. The company used to send me on assignments all over. They used to make customers sign a non-solicitation agreement that prevents them from hiring its employees. That's how all consulting companies work, and I understand.

Fast forward a few years later, I resigned and went on my own. My employment contract had a one year non-solicitation agreement, which I think is fair. However, that said some newer employees had to sign a 3 year agreement, now **that's** too much.

So long story short, we don't know what the terms are, it's up to the jury to decide whether they were reasonable or not.
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