High Tech Workers May Sue Bosses in Pay Dispute

Nearly 60,000 Silicon Valley workers can go ahead with a class action against seven major tech firms for allegedly conspiring to suppress their pay by agreeing not to poach workers from each other.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal late Tuesday refused to allow the tech firms to appeal an October order granting class certification by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.

Five software engineers sued Apple, Google, Adobe Systems, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar, accusing the companies of keeping pay an artificially low levels by agreeing not to solicit each other’s employees.

The suit says the alleged plan violated the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act.

The original named plaintiffs in the case worked for Adobe in Washington state between 2006 and 2008, Intel in Arizona from 1993 to 2006 and Lucasfilm in California between 2007 and 2008.

The companies appealed Koh’s 86-page order saying the engineers claims were too disparate and dissimilar to be tried as a class action involving seven companies with 2,400 job titles.

Case:  Hariharan v. Adobe Systems, No. 13-80223



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