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.
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
On March 10, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued joint guidance regarding the use of background checks. The FTC, which enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act, monitors compliance with how background checks are conducted. The EEOC, which enforces federal laws against discrimination, seeks to ensure that the use of background checks does not disparately impact protected groups.