DOJ Antitrust Chief Warns Criminal Prosecutions for Wage-Fixing Are Forthcoming

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.

In October 2016, a joint guidance document released by the DOJ and FTC set forth the agencies’ position that naked wage-fixing and anti-poaching agreements are a violation of U.S. antitrust laws.  The guidance, which was directed towards human resources professionals, took the general position that “[a]n agreement among competing employers to limit or fix the terms of employment for potential hires may violate the antitrust laws if the agreement constrains individual firm decisionmaking with regard to wages, salaries, or benefits; terms of employment; or even job opportunities.”  Our previous publication on the guidance can be accessed here.

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