Menu
Judge says $415 million settlement in Silicon Valley hiring case is 'substantial'

Judge says $415 million settlement in Silicon Valley hiring case is 'substantial'

Workers alleged 'no-poach' agreements between Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe drove down their wages

A judge has approved a US$415 million settlement in a Silicon Valley employee hiring case, calling the amount "substantial" to settle claims that Apple, Google, Adobe Systems and Intel conspired not to hire each other's workers.

The amount is fair and adequate, particularly in light of the risk that a jury may not have awarded damages, federal Judge Lucy Koh wrote in a Tuesday order in the U.S. district court for northern California.

The settlement also avoids what would have been complex and expensive litigation, she wrote.

The lawsuit constitutes one of the more high-profile class action lawsuits in Silicon Valley. Engineers alleged a handful of companies entered into secret "no-poach" agreements not to hire their workers, which drove down their wages and restricted their ability to move between jobs. A chunk of evidence in the case consists of emails sent between the late Apple chief Steve Jobs and other Silicon Valley executives like Google chairman Eric Schmidt and cofounder Sergey Brin.

Were the case to go to trial, it might have shed a damaging light on the business practices of some of the most successful technology companies in the world.

Judge Koh had previously rejected a proposed earlier settlement of $324.5 million, calling it too low. The companies increased their offer to $415 million this past January.

Her preliminary approval on Tuesday of the larger settlement is subject to further consideration at a final approval hearing set for July 9.

Intel and Adobe declined to comment on Koh's approval of the settlement. Apple and Google did not immediately respond to comment.

Kelly Dermody, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said via email she was pleased with the approval of the settlement. Robert Van Nest, an attorney for Google, declined to comment.

Some 64,000 workers employed in technical, creative and research and development roles are represented in the class action suit. They have until May 21 to opt out or object to the settlement agreement. Objections will be heard during the July court hearing.

Three other defendants in the case -- Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar -- previously settled with the workers for about $20 million.

If the $415 million settlement is approved, attorneys could take home up to $83 million in fees.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetGoogleApplelegalinteladobesearch enginesInternet-based applications and servicesCivil lawsuits

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments