Google Drops No-Poaching Requirement for Former Employees

 

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer June 20, 2019
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​Google recently stopped enforcing a contract provision that prevented exiting employees from poaching their former colleagues for a year after leaving the company.

The company revealed its decision to no longer enforce its nonsolicitation agreements in response to a lawsuit challenging its employment agreements and practices.

We've rounded up resources and articles from SHRM Online and other trusted outlets on the news.

The Heat Is On

The policy change follows a 2015 nationwide class-action settlement in which Google, Adobe Systems Inc., Intel Corp. and other big tech companies agreed to pay $415 million to settle alleged antitrust violations for conspiring and agreeing not to poach each other's employees.

Google may still face litigation over its no-poaching provisions, even if it no longer enforces the clauses. Google workers previously covered by the agreements could allege that the pacts unlawfully restrained competition or limited their career options.

Other marquee employers have faced high-cost antitrust litigation related to wage-fixing, noncompete and no-poaching agreements in the past several years. Walt Disney Co. in 2017 agreed to pay $100 million to settle claims that it had no-poach agreements with other animation studios in California.

(Bloomberg)

DOJ Targets No-Poaching Agreements

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is reviewing potential violations of the antitrust law prohibiting no-poaching agreements and signaled that more enforcement actions will occur.

(SHRM Online)

Democrats Propose Banning No-Poach Agreements

Congressional Democrats unveiled legislation April 26 to stop employers from creating no-poaching agreements and requiring workers to sign noncompete clauses in employment contracts. The bill's sponsors say these are anti-competitive practices that hurt workers and limit their mobility.

(SHRM Online)

Fast-Food Industry in the Spotlight

Several fast-food restaurant chains, including Arby's, Carl's Jr., McDonald's and Jimmy John's, have agreed to stop enforcing no-poaching agreements among their franchisees.

(SHRM Online)

DOJ Antitrust Guidance for HR Professionals Explained

Employment lawyer Kim Hodges from Ogletree Deakins and two lawyers from the DOJ explain no-poaching, wage-fixing and noncompete agreements, what kinds of agreements are illegal, and how to make sure you don't run afoul of the law in this SHRM webinar.

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