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Apple and Google Face Salary-Fixing Lawsuit

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the only-legal-when-the-government-does-it dept.

Google 402

beaverdownunder writes "Google, Apple, Adobe and Intel have been accused of maintaining an agreement not to poach each other's staff, thus restricting increases in salary and restricting career development. California District Judge Lucy Koh has found that the plaintiffs have adequately demonstrated antitrust injury. Sparked by a request from the late Steve Jobs, from 2005 to 2007 the defendants had a 'no cold-call' policy of staff recruitment amongst themselves. Jobs is also alleged to have threatened Palm with litigation for not entering into a 'no cold-call' agreement with Apple." Besides the companies named above, Intuit, Pixar, and Lucasfilm are also involved.

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a nice whopper of an evil by Google (4, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762867)

Seriously, it doesn't get much more clearly evil. I think they've effectively ruined their corporate image with this.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762895)

Seriously, it doesn't get much more clearly evil.

Do a little checking into Sony before you deem this the pinnacle of evil.

I think they've effectively ruined their corporate image with this.

Oh please. Both of these companies have done much worse. Most customers aren't going to care all that much if some high-priced high-tech employees didn't get to leverage one company against another for a job.

What they did was wrong - all of them (there were others besides Apple & Google), and this will be another ethics wakeup call to corporate America ... until the next scheme crosses one of their minds.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762947)

It's not the height of evil, that wasn't my claim. My claim was only that this was starkly beyond the gray zone.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763059)

"it doesn't get much more clearly evil"

"it's not the height of evil, that wasn't my claim. "

You'll forgive people for thinking you meant "it doesn't get much more clearly evil" when you wrote "it doesn't get much more clearly evil".

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (1, Flamebait)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763101)

But I won't forgive people for thinking I meant "it doesn't get much more evil" when I wrote "it doesn't get much more clearly evil".

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763195)

"But I won't forgive people for thinking I meant "it doesn't get much more evil" when I wrote "it doesn't get much more clearly evil"

Except it makes no difference at all and you're just trying way too hard to walk back a CLEAR overstatement.

Put the keyboard down and walk away, you've already made a big enough fool of yourself.

"derrp I SAID CLEARLY THAT MEANS MY STATEMENT ISN'T PROFOUNDLY RETARDED!!!"

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (1, Flamebait)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763247)

It's not my fault you can't read. Words have meanings. I don't use words as carelessly as most, apparently.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763259)

"It's not my fault you can't read."

Clearly.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763265)

I don't think "clearly" means what you think it does.

Give up already, you stupid cunt. You exaggerated, you got called out on it, and now you're turning into a backpedalling whiny little bitch.

Words DO have meaning. Next time, choose yours more carefully.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (2, Informative)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763439)

First to resort to Ad Hominem loses. Sorry.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763345)

How about "much more very evil?" and "much more incredibly evil"? Which is more evilerist?

Magic 8 ball says (2)

ifwm (687373) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763437)

It's not clear.

Re:Magic 8 ball says (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763509)

Is it not clear, or clearly not clear?

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763161)

Basically Sony treats consumers bad, while Google and Apple their own people. May be just me, but the latter is much worse.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (0)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763343)

It's not evil at all, it's no different than what every union does

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (1)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762929)

So much for a Free Market. (Labor-wise, that is.)

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762939)

You mean 'a nice whopper of an evil by basically the whole industry'?

Oh wait, I forgot Googlebashing is the average Slashdot commenter's new hobby now.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762957)

So far as I know, Google is the only company involved who make the claim to not being evil. All the others admit to it.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (4, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763313)

A few nits to pick.

Google didn't claim to not be evil. They approve an internal motto of "don't be evil" which is far from the same thing. The motto got leaked and they've been paying for it ever since, because nearly any action could be seen as evil by someone.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763369)

"Google is the only company involved who make the claim to not being evil. All the others admit to it."

There's no way you're gonna have a citation for this is there?

You're gonna make an excuse for not having an explicit admission of being evil from other companies, despite claiming such exists right there aren't you?

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (0)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763469)

Filing articles of incorporation is an inherent declaration of an intent to be evil unless you publish something to the contrary, like incorporation as a non-profit, or a company directive to not be evil.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762951)

Seriously? This is the most evil thing Apple or Google has done? Let me guess, you're looking for a job in Silicon Valley...

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763019)

It's the most clearly evil thing I know of Google doing. Apple has done plenty worse, but they don't make any claim to not being evil the way google does.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763145)

Seriously. We're talking about really really high-paying jobs. Tell my why the 99% should be upset that the price of tech goods goes up slower.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762961)

"a nice whopper of an evil"

This belongs on the karma-whoring hall of fame list.

1. See google do something
2. scream about how it's "EVIL" using whatever tortured interpretation you need
3. Profit in karma you have whored.

no ? necessary.

The sad thing is, if you think about it for one second, it's not the least bit interesting or insightful at all.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (-1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763071)

I have max karma.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763235)

And based on your first post in this thread, it obvious why.

You're a whore. Clearly.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (-1, Flamebait)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763263)

Believe what you'd like. It takes all of 10 well rated posts to max your karma. Karma fishing just isn't an activity that should keep most people interested for more than a month or so.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763351)

"Believe what you'd like"

I do, you're a whore who can't read worth a fuck, and thinks making a stand on the use of the word "clearly" makes your original statement less moronic.

Oh, and you can't admit you were wrong. You're THAT internet troll, the bombastic, overstating karma whore who plays the commentariat and flatly refuses, no matter how CLEARLY it's pointed out that you said something stupid, to admit you were in any way incorrect.

You're THAT guy.

Cry more about it now.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (1, Troll)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763473)

Seems like you're the one crying. You're the one resorting to Ad Hominem and shouty letters. You seem quite upset.

A little perspective is necessary (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762967)

Seriously, it doesn't get much more clearly evil. I think they've effectively ruined their corporate image with this.

I assume you were just being a little overzealous this morning (assuming you are in the US), but that is so wrong that I doubt even you really believe it. Whether you want to compare this no-poaching agreement with FoxConn or with the even more evil period of slavery in our country, there are probably numerous example every day of companies being more "evil" than this.

That said, I hope they are penalized harshly for this, and not just in the court of public opinion. Because as someone else already said, I really doubt that almost anyone cares about some 6-digit salary tech employees not getting even higher pay.

Re:A little perspective is necessary (0)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763007)

As I've responded to others: I didn't claim this was the zenith of evil. Only that it is clearly beyond the gray zone.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762977)

Seriously, it doesn't get much more clearly evil.

Really, so rape, murder, torture, etc. are not as bad.

I never would have guessed, thanks for your insightful and interesting commentary.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763031)

Those are all worse, and equally clearly beyond the gray zone.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763121)

So it does get much more clearly evil, and you were just stupidly googlebashing.

Which we all knew because it was obvious.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763141)

No, those are more evil, but not any clearer. Once you're safely beyond the gray zone, there's no more clarity to be achieved. 100% is 100%. There is no 101%.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (1, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763291)

No, this is going to fly way under the radar, as it affects their employees, not customers.

It nicely demonstrates how Steve "Magical thinking as a cure for cancer" Jobs acted a little crazy occasionally. "Jobs is also alleged to have threatened Palm with litigation for not entering into a 'no cold-call' agreement with Apple.". Yeah, sue them for not entering into an illegal pact - that's going to fly.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763365)

I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing he might have meant suing them for something else, like patent garbage for example, if they didn't enter into such a pact, not that he'd sue them for something so blatantly obvious.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763427)

I'm pretty sure he was threatening litigation over something perfectly legal (e.g. patents) if they did not collude.

Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763349)

Google ruined its corporate image when it left the "miserable failure" Google Bomb up for years. Then after the link to the President's bio was switched to Obama and his picture came up (and after Google executives had also provided financial help to his campaign) the bomb was fixed in a matter of days.

What's the deal with Timothy? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762873)

His name appears above every thread since Friday April 20, @07:15PM. Did everyone else quit or something?

Re:What's the deal with Timothy? (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763041)

He's probably the only one on staff not celebrating 4-20.

Re:What's the deal with Timothy? (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763127)

He's probably the only one on staff not celebrating 4-20.

Are you kidding? If the editors got totally baked, it could only improve their efforts.

I, for one, would welcome our totally zoned out Slashdot Overlords^HEditors.

Litigation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762883)

So Apple would sue Palm for what exactly? How would that even work!?

The only thing I can think of is that Apple would use other angles such as patents to harass Palm until they comply.

Re:Litigation? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762965)

That's what they meant. They threaten to sue Palm using their patent portfolio unless Palm plays ball on the do-not-cold-call game.

Cold calls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762889)

How in the hell are cold calls ethical? It's like telemarketing but much more annoying and more likely to piss me off.

I'm a pharmacist and I get cold called, at work, at least 4 times every month. I want to shove the phone up their ass and twist it.

Re:Cold calls? (4, Informative)

The Darkness (33231) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762959)

"Hi Mr. X, we'd like to pay you 25% more to come work for us if you're a good fit for the team."

I love my job and the people I work with, but if Google called with that offer, I would listen. I would be stupid to not listen and at least give my boss the opportunity to make a counter-offer.

Re:Cold calls? (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763523)

"Hi Mrs. X, I'd like to offer you 25% more to come fuck me if you're a good fit for the penis."

Re:Cold calls? (4, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762993)

Cold calls offering employment opportunity trade the negative of disruption against the positive of the opportunity offered. So long as the cold caller is legitimately offering you something of value, I think they can reasonably make the case that their call is ethical.

Re:Cold calls? (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763401)

Depends. Are they calling you at the office (IMHO, a big "NO NO") or at home (am I on the "do not call list for cold call recruiting")?

Re:Cold calls? (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763455)

They are almost universally calling employee-owned cell phones. They have no way to know if you are in the office or at home in advance of the call. They might make a reasonable guess, but they could still be wrong.

Re:Cold calls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763009)

You bring up an excellent point.

Another point, why isn't it ok for employer A to restrict employer B from recruiting employer A's employees while employer A is paying them to work?

Re:Cold calls? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763065)

Because A has no authority over B's actions. If A doesn't want to provide its employees with phone service, or wants to deny calls from B to office phones that's all fine, that's their equipment. But to prevent B from picking up THEIR phones? That's a different story.

Re:Cold calls? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763137)

But to prevent B from picking up THEIR phones? That's a different story.

Employer B picking up their phones is fine.

The issue is Employer B harrassing Employer A by calling Employer A's phone numbers, and attempting to disrupt staff from doing their jobs, by enticing them to personally jump ship and join Employer A.

Employees may have a use of a phone in their office, and might even have a direct extension, but it seems reasonable that if Employer A has issues with the calls, they could contact Employer A and get them to stop calling their business numbers.

What calls Employer B makes to employes' private phone numbers or personal e-mail addresses is another matter, and none of Employer A's business.

Re:Cold calls? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763193)

Exactly. But just to be clear, the cold calls being discussed here are almost universally to employee owned cell phones. I have personally received 3 of these to my cell, and none to my work phone. So far as I know, this is the norm.

Re:Cold calls? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763311)

Exactly. But just to be clear, the cold calls being discussed here are almost universally to employee owned cell phones.

In that case, the Employee has somehow provided their phone number. Their current employer has no right to say what calls they can take on their personal cell phones, or what calls other people can make to an employee cell phone.

The only person Employer A has to complain to in this case is the employee, if they chose to take the call while they're supposed to be working, against taking personal calls while on the job.

But then perhaps Employer B while throwing in the 33% increase can also throw in the perk of "Some flexibility to take a few personal calls while on the job; as long as the amount of time used/distraction to the job at hand is kept to a minimum"

Re:Cold calls? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763377)

Indeed. And almost everyone in the industry in question (silicon valley engineering) has pretty complete discretion to take personal calls built into their employment agreements.

Re:Cold calls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763215)

Can you read?

"while employer A is paying them to work?"

"Because A has no authority over B's actions. "

THEY ARE PAYING THEM TO WORK IN MY EXAMPLE.

I SAID "WHILE PAYING THEM TO WORK"

How fucking stupid are you?

Re:Cold calls? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763237)

So B is both a competing employer and A's employee? If A is paying B to work, and B is using that time to recruit A's employees instead of doing the contracted work, then A probably has a legal claim against B.

Re:Cold calls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763307)

"So B is both a competing employer and A's employee?"

Um, are you ACTUALLY retarded?

The original post

"Another point, why isn't it ok for employer A to restrict employer B from recruiting employer A's employees while employer A is paying them to work?"

What was that you were saying about someone else not being able to read?

Re:Cold calls? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763389)

Again, it seems clear how you'd make the case that the employees could be restricted, after all, they are being paid to work. But how are you making the case that B can be restricted?

Re:Cold calls? (4, Interesting)

ranton (36917) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763049)

I'm a pharmacist and I get cold called, at work, at least 4 times every month. I want to shove the phone up their ass and twist it.

You get a call about once a week from someone offering you significantly more money to come work for them ... and you are pissed about it? I do get annoyed by recruiters who consistently email and call me, but that is just because they never really have a specific job they need you for. But this story is talking about companies specifically targetting valuable employees they want to hire (with a high enough salary bump to make them jump ship).

Any recruiter who wants to call me right now for a 33% pay raise to work at a premier tech company will never piss me off, even if I don't take his offer. And I am very content with my current gig.

Re:Cold calls? (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763245)

Any recruiter who wants to call me right now for a 33% pay raise to work at a premier tech company will never piss me off, even if I don't take his offer. And I am very content with my current gig. --

A team member who lacks loyalty, or lacks job satisfaction may take the opportunity to switch employers. A more loyal team member, may take this offer and negotiate higher pay with their current employer. Either way, the employee benefits. This is not against the economic interests of the employee. In some circumstances, this may be unfair to the employer. With employment there is an implied understanding that there is a long-term relationship, and the employee will not part for something as low as a 30% change in pay, and nor will the employer necessarily fire the employee just because they found someone willing and able to do the same job for 30% less.

However, it would be best if the employer spelled that out with a contract. It would probably be best if such enterprises had their employees sign a "non-compete" for the industry their organization is in, effective in case the employee voluntarily chose to leave, and with a small salary continuing for the non-compete period to secure the employee from being hired by a competitor during that period. This is more fair to both employer and employee -- the employee cannot be poached, unless the employee is fired without cause; if the employee is released with cause, or chooses to leave the business, they continue to be paid a sustaining wage. The competitor can offer the 33% increase after the 2 or 3 year period.

You get a call about once a week from someone offering you significantly more money to come work for them ... and you are pissed about it?

I wouldn't be pissed about it. If someone is paying me to do the other job during the time I am taking the call, that the call is distracting me from, however, and the caller uses my employer's equipment to make that offer (e.g. Company phone number, Company e-mail address), they might have a right to be pissed about it, because:
(A) They are likely doing this to many employees -- wasting many employer hours.
(B) They are a third party abusing the employer's communications equipment.
(C) The nature of the calls is likely to result in loss of increased employee costs; either in the form of increased pay to existing employees, or to pay for recruitment of new employees and training to enable existing staff to cover the hole left by valuable team member.
(D) Increased churn, corporate brain drain, loss of company memory, lower morale.

Re:Cold calls? (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763567)

With employment there is an implied understanding that there is a long-term relationship,

You must be new here.

Herman Miller rumored to be among plaintiffs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762919)

Seems they're claiming the lost sales of Aeron chairs to replace the ones that would have been smashed up in CEO's offices.

Any other such "secret" agreements out there? (5, Interesting)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762981)

For example, Nvidia and ATI could have agreed - in secret - that neither company shall surpass the other's current flagship 3D card by a speed improvement greater than 5%. They could also have agreed that the most speed gain to be put on the 3D card market, in any one year, shall be no greater than 15% higher than the previous year. What about realtime hardware raytracing for games? Both companies may already have prototype 3D hardware capable of this. But they may have agreed amongst themselves - again in secret - that nobody will put a realtime raytracing based 3D card on the market before 2018. ------- Given what little we, the public, know about "secret agreements" between these supposedly "competing" companies, there may very well be a graphics card or CPU prototype in some lab somewhere that runs 2 - 5 times faster than the fastest hardware currently on the market. But, by honoring a "secret agreement" between competitors, nobody would release that hyperfast graphics card or CPU into the market before the year 2020. That would buy these companies "8 years" worth of steady profiteering from releasing incrementally improved hardware (i.e. each time you buy a new CPU or gfx card, you only get a 15 - 25% speed improvement, rather than a 200 - 500% improvement). Does this sound like a Conspiracy Theory? Of course it does. But could it actually be true? Yes, I believe that there is a chance that precisely this kind of "lets all take it slow with hardware speed improvements" agreement between competitors could be real.

Re:Any other such "secret" agreements out there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763069)

Yes. Come to Benton county Arkansas and look what Walmart does.

Re:Any other such "secret" agreements out there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763173)

Any documentary evidence of that should be an enough for conviction under antitrust laws (in EU at least)

Re:Any other such "secret" agreements out there? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763329)

In the 90's I was working at Sun Microsystems, and I had gotten a call for a job at Cisco because a colleague had recommended me (unbeknownst to me). When I told the recruiter who had phoned me that I was currently at Sun, she said "oh, we can't hire you until you get permission from Scott to talk to us. Scott and John have an agreement to not go after each others employees."

So these things have been around a while.

Re:Any other such "secret" agreements out there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763333)

I always assumed Intel and AMD had always done this....

Re:Any other such "secret" agreements out there? (1)

allanw (842185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763525)

Doubt it. The consumer electronics industry, including CPUs and GPUs, is keeping well in pace with the technology developed by semiconductor companies. Each new process node nowadays costs up to ten billion dollars to develop and put into production, and it's highly doubtful anyone is secretly hiding years of advancement over publically known technology. Now, if you want to talk about the companies keeping "hyperfast" architectures in wraps for slow release, then that is plausible, although still, highly doubtful.

An attack on Freedom? (0, Troll)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763043)

For Romney, Santorum, and Paul, the government is attacking the FREEDOM of Google and Apple.

"Corporations are people too!" That's what they say.

That's the kind of freedom they're talking about.

Re:An attack on Freedom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763067)

Ron Paul does not believe that corporations are people or that they should be treated as such. As for other the idiots, I can't say.

Ahhhh! Corporations own the government! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763189)

So, if the government is given more power, that'll solve the problem, right?

Re:Ahhhh! Corporations own the government! (4, Informative)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763217)

You can vote out your government.
You can't vote a damn thing out of Apple and Google.

Not a great choice, but by far the best choice we have.

Re:Ahhhh! Corporations own the government! (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763239)

The first time I've seen someone that "gets it". Bravo, sir, Bravo.

Re:Ahhhh! Corporations own the government! (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763361)

Only in theory. Practically speaking, the political parties in the US have all of the votes locked up (in part due to agreements to not participate in debates with other parties due to the 1996 upset.). And both parties are basically the same.

Re:An attack on Freedom? (1)

furytrader (1512517) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763399)

Clearly, sir, you don't know the first thing about conservative principles. However, because you want to inject politics into this, let's do that. Tell me, do you think that conservatives support competition or not? In other words, do most conservative policies, such as school vouchers, less regulation, lower union involvement, a desire for reduced government subsidies, tend to support competition amongst companies or discourage it? That's right, they support competition ... and which is why conservative intellectual stalwarts like Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell have pointed out again and again that big business is NOT pro-competition. History has shown that big business can collude amongst themselves and with their partners in Washington to take actions that are detrimental to the consumer: think of sugar subsidies that raise the price of sugar far above the international price to the benefit of large sugar interests. I don't know of any conservatives who support this kind of effort. Contrary to what you might think, conservatives don't think that everything a company does is magically right because it comes from the private sector - look at the Tea Party angst about the Wall Street bailouts. I think your assumption that conservatives are somehow in knee-jerk support of whatever corporations do is misguided. Think harder.

Re:An attack on Freedom? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763451)

If corporations weren't people you couldn't take them to court and sue them when they behaved poorly.

The problem is the political status of corporations. They shouldn't have the ability to make campaign contributions or lobby etc. The aggregate financial power distorts the process.

It's a surrogate for voting which they feel entitled too because they pay taxes.

IMNSHO corporations should not be taxed nor be able to participate in politics. The taxes should fall on the owners of the corporations - which will get rid of a lot of distortions in the tax system including preferential treatment of dividends.

Fix this and many problems go away.

Won't matter (1)

Hangtime (19526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763073)

Unless all employees are in the class and assumed to increase their salaries 10% during the time frame; the resulting lawsuit/settlement has little to no chance of being more expensive then if all the companies had been competing for talent as it will be extremely difficult to prove financial damages. I am very disappointed in the DOJ settling this one with little more then a "don't do it again" as they may have been the only way to stop this cold going forward.

Misnomer (4, Funny)

BenBoy (615230) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763107)

From the wikipedia article: [wikipedia.org]

Only wild animals can be poached. Stealing or killing domestic animals is considered to be theft ("cattle rustling"), not poaching.

They're nerd rustling. Hence the (now trademarked) "Yahoo!"

Google Staffing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763111)

I have received emails from Google Staffing people asking if I'm "interested in discussion opportunities at Google". So have pretty much every other person I've asked who has ever participated in a remotely intelligent discussion on a programming mailing list, and I'm sure that many other Slashdotters have as well. These are not the spam and virus links that circulated a while ago, but actual mails from actual people at Google Staffing (or someone who is very good at faking it). But, they have no idea about who I am, what I do or anything else other than my email address and my name - apparently their job is to trawl the net for anyone who displays a modicum of programming interest and skill. What happens if someone responds and says that they are working for Intel at the moment, but are interesting in switching?

Admitting No Wrongdoing (5, Insightful)

Luthair (847766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763171)

The seven companies were also investigated in this connection by the U.S. Department of Justice, and they settled in 2010 while admitting no wrongdoing, but agreed not to ban cold calling and not to enter into any agreements that prevent competition for employees.

Is anyone else sick of seeing this type of solution? Bank robbers aren't allowed to go free if they don't admit wrong doing but promise not to rob anymore banks in the future. There is no disincentive if the companies (and the people making these agreements) aren't punished for their behaviour.

This is hardly new (5, Informative)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763177)

My grandpa had to move clear across the country back in the 50s because of "no poaching" deals in the aircraft industry on the east coast. The only way to advance was for someone above you in your company to retire/die/quit/get fired then they'd fill the gap. And no worries for the company about having to provide competitive wages. If they caught someone sniffing around another company, the person was fired and blacklisted. If someone from another company came sniffing around, they'd call the other company and the person would be fired and blacklisted. It's pretty close to creating a slave labor force. Sure, the shackles are padded but it's very demoralizing to know that trying to advance your career could end it.

Re:This is hardly new (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763387)

There's a pretty big difference between you describe and the 'No cold calls' policy these companies have practised... Just sayin'

Re:This is hardly new (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763611)

My grandpa had to move clear across the country back in the 50s because of "no poaching" deals in the aircraft industry on the east coast. The only way to advance was for someone above you in your company to retire/die/quit/get fired then they'd fill the gap. And no worries for the company about having to provide competitive wages. If they caught someone sniffing around another company, the person was fired and blacklisted. If someone from another company came sniffing around, they'd call the other company and the person would be fired and blacklisted. It's pretty close to creating a slave labor force. Sure, the shackles are padded but it's very demoralizing to know that trying to advance your career could end it.

I'm not that old, but I would hazard a guess that the aircraft industry in the 50's was as hot or better than IT is today.

It's not fair in a relative sense, and we can safely argue amongst our peers the value of our work, but the upper middle class complaining about padded shackles is a lot like the CEO of BP wanting his life back.

open salary discussion (5, Interesting)

anthony_greer (2623521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763253)

These conracts couldnt ever really work if people were allowed talk salary...There is nothing for me that is more awkward than when I have to answer that question from a prospective employer about salary, I don't know if I am really too high for the market or if he is BSing me to pay me less...

I just wish people were a little less shy about talking salary...am i worth 70 80 or 110k per year? I honestly don't know, so I just take a guess, its like throwing darts, I cant really put much stock in sites like CBSalaries and Glassdoor because I dont know where they get their data, how do I know it isnt just the companies putting in low ball salaries?

Re:open salary discussion (3, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763357)

When you look at glass door, you look at the range. Let's say it's 80k-210k for 5 years experience in silicon valley area. You discount the low end of the range, that's probably low-balling efforts by companies. You discount the high end, that's people bragging, or factoring in positive stock outcomes in order to inflate their self worth. You look at the average value, say 123, add about 10% (to account for the sandbagging). So call that 135. Then you ask yourself, am I better than the average, or worse? Add an appropriate percentage. Let's say you're a little better than average, but you know you're not a superstar. Bump yourself up another 10%. Call that 150.

You've now arrived at a reasonably fair value, in spite of the distortions present in the system.

Also, if you have any friends in your industry but not at your company, you can ask them (and discount about 10-20% for the bragging factor).

Re:open salary discussion (2)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763587)

I know of many companies (including my own) that have policies against openly discussing salaries between employees at the same level. But there's really no way to stop it when employees are away from the office. It's just that Cathy can't mention the fact that Mike makes more than her up when she's negotiating pay with her manager. Nor can anybody stop the sharing of this information between employees of two different companies as long as it takes place out of sight of management.

The biggest discrepancies in pay at the same level tend to be between new hires and people who've been around a few years, because pay increases for continuing employees don't usually keep up with salaries for new hires. And that's negative for the company, because to keep up employees may have to hop ship in a few years taking all their know-how with them and you have to bring a new guy on board and teach him how to do that gal's job as well as she did it. Turnover is the enemy of efficiency.

And that's probably mostly what the companies in this case were trying to avoid. But they could have avoided it with salary transparency and better consistency of pay with ability and experience.

Re:open salary discussion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763633)

I've had frank discussions with recruiters who told me I was worth 85k. I think they were telling the truth -- from their perspective. I work for 134k. That's a 57% increase.

I've concluded: people are just full of shit. Plain and simple. I tell them a number, and I tell them it confidently, and as long as it isn't too crazy, they accept. Lulz.

Yawn. (1)

toddmbloom (1625689) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763255)

I see the "sue first ask questions later" crowd has been out in full force - first the stupid ebook nonsense now this.

Re:Yawn. (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763459)

Actually, suing is a very good way to ask questions. The difference is that in a lawsuit, you can ask the judge to order the other party to answer. And she might just do that for a reasonable question.

It's GOOD! (-1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763273)

You are all missing an important point here: if this is true, then it's holding wages down, so it allows other and newer companies to come in into underpriced market and poach some of those people out of the likes of Google, it's not a problem.

Of-course the problem there is that the fake currency is preventing any savings and investment and thus it prevents new companies from starting and forces existing ones into moving somewhere else.

You want real growth of economy and your purchasing power (not in terms of fake currency, but in terms of what you can buy with your salary)? Then you really are looking at the wrong target.

Fed is THAT way.

Re:It's GOOD! (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763447)

I read the body of the message first, and as soon as I saw the huge leap between the first paragraph & the second I knew it was you.

can we stop sucking jobs dick now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763315)

or do we need to wait until the shitty, fact-challenged movie comes out?

It's stuff like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763339)

...that makes me very happy to have gone self-employed, and stayed that way. The amount of crap employees put up with astounds me.

just more evidence... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763355)

...of what a truly despicable person Steve Jobs was.

Capitalist Defence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763485)

First Principles

1) Trade secrets can not be un-learned...Money can buy access to the process if not the actual 'secret'
thereby;
2) Technological ' know-how' is invaluable...No talent is more valuable than 10% of a product
hence;
Talent is the conceptual component to trade secret, know-how its hand-maiden which provides a capacity
and;
Great organizations capture that capacity in process which nurtures, sustains and supports creation of new markets, new products
so;
Talent can blackmail the process, sabotage it or destroy it criminally. Organizations are criminal if in its stewardship of its trade secrets it interferes with talent's right to bargain, negotiate and free access to a competitive labor market IMHO

Which is exactly where Google, Apple, et. al. protect their jewels keeping process well managed...no infraction

This is nothing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39763563)

the real salary fixing is being perpetrated by the gov't (at the behest of ALL the tech companies' lobbying arms) via their H1B visa policies.
These compaies claim they can't find enough qulaified people, but hte truth is they're just not willing to pay a wage that is consistent with the high cost of living areas where they are located.

Don't Tease me Bro! (1, Insightful)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 2 years ago | (#39763597)

A giant "anti-trust" lawsuit regarding only a "no cold-call" policy? This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

All that means is that when someone is happily working at the job they actually applied for, they wouldn't be teased by some other company offering them more money.
It says NOTHING about if an employee was fired, and once again applied for a job at a competitor, whether they would take him/her or not (which would most likely be a resounding yes).
Nor does it imply anything in the situation where an employee was working at their job, but (knowing they themselves are hot shit) applied to another company flouting their skills, and trying to negotiate a higher pay.

Honestly, the fact that it "fixed salaries" only means that tech companies were such dicks about poaching in the first place, with absolutely no regard to the culture of the workplace that they not only suck an employee out of due to greed (think about those left behind), as well as the company's own culture (hiring a competitor who is there out of greed). They probably realized it was bad practice for a lot of reasons other than just the indirect effect of money.
Finally, I can easily imagine a company with a lot of spare cash (Apple) using this method to hire ever good engineer out of every other company just for shits, having them not develop anything, and crush the competition in that manner.

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