The Department of Justice’s top antitrust official announced that criminal charges against companies who agreed not to hire one another’s employees will be forthcoming, with announcements to be made in the coming months.
On October 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a formal letter on behalf of the United States Department of Justice stating the DOJ’s official position that Title VII “does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender status,” officially retracting the DOJ’s previous position under the Obama Administration and setting up a direct conflict with the EEOC’s current position on the scope of Title VII.
This past week the FTC and DOJ issued an 11-page guidance document aimed at protecting employees against anticompetitive conduct with respect to naked wage-fixing and agreements, in which companies agree on salary or other terms of compensation, and anti-poaching agreements. The guidance to human resource (“HR”) professionals and hiring managers relates to both hiring and compensation decisions.
The government’s guidance makes clear that naked wage-fixing agreements and anti-poaching agreements, in which companies agree not to recruit each other’s employees, are illegal under U.S. antitrust laws and, moving forward, DOJ will criminally investigate both individuals and companies suspected of their violation. There is a carve-out for legitimate collaboration between employers. The most common form of relevant, legitimate collaboration would be a joint venture between two companies, as these are not considered per se illegal under the antitrust laws.
Continue Reading FTC, DOJ Issue Guidance for HR Professionals on the Application of Antitrust Law to Hiring and Compensation
The DOJ announced last November that it again was delaying the target date for publishing its proposed website regulations for state and local governments to December 2014, and its proposed website regulations for public accommodations until June 2015. Next, without further comment, the DOJ failed to make its December 2014 deadline for its state and local government regulations. Given that the state and local government regulations deadline was missed, and that the DOJ has not yet submitted its public accommodations regulations to the federal Office of Management and Budget for required review and approval, it is virtually certain that the June 2015 deadline for public accommodations regulations will be missed as well. Bottom line – affected businesses won’t see the DOJ’s new website accessibility regulations anytime soon.
The Obama Administration announced on February 1, 2010, that it requested $385.3 million for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for fiscal year 2011. In addition, the administration requested $162 million for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Significantly, the requests represent an $18 million dollar budget increase for the EEOC and a $17 million dollar budget increase for the DOJ Civil Rights Division.