Geeks Sue Tech Giants Over Pay

A former Lucasfilm engineer hit some of the biggest names in technology with a class action lawsuit accusing the firms of suppressing employee pay by agreeing not to poach staff from each other.  The firms named include Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, Pixar and Adobe Systems.

Siddharth Hariharan accused the tech giants of antitrust violations saying “senior executives entered into an interconnected web of express agreements to eliminate competition among them for skilled labor.”

The suit was filed in Alameda County Superior Court May 4 and comes after reports last September by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times that federal investigators were looking into the same allegations. 

The lawsuit asserts that the Department of Justice Antitrust Division looked at the alleged misconduct in 2009-2010 and found the agreements “facially anticompetitive” and that they “substantially diminished competition to the detriment of the affected employees, according to the lawsuit.  But the DOJ decided it would not seek compensation for the employees allegedly injured 

San Francisco Attorney Joseph Saveri, representing Hariharan, filed the suit on behalf of all affected employees claiming violation of the Clayton Antitrust Act, California antitrust law and state unfair business practice law.  Saveri is with Lieff Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein.

Case: Hariharan v. Adobe Systems Inc.,  No. 11574066

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