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Adobe employee lawsuit settlement nixed by judge

  • Published on August 19, 2014
Adobe employee lawsuit settlement nixed by judge

Thousands of current and former tech employees that worked at Silicon Valley companies including Adobe, Apple, Google, and Intel filed a lawsuit because the firms refused to hire each other’s workers, and coordinated efforts to reduce employee wages. Adobe and the other companies are accused of limiting their employee’s ability to switch jobs, and keeping wages lower than they might have otherwise been. The judge overseeing the case recently put a stop to an effort to settle the case before it went to trial.

The case became an issue because each of the business agreed to not hire each other’s employees. The CEO of Adobe agreed with Steve Jobs of Apple to not hire any current Apple employees, and Apple agreed to not hire from Adobe as well. The same agreement existed with Google agreeing to not hire any Apple employees. These agreements made it impossible for employees from these big companies to move to a job in another company.

Recognizing that their conduct was likely illegal, Adobe and the other companies have attempted to settle the lawsuit without ever going to trial. They have offered each employee approximately $3,500 along with paying legal fees involved. The judge overseeing the trial, Lucy Koh, is the same judge that oversaw a large lawsuit between Apple and Samsung. Jude Koh stated this past week that the settlement is not reasonable, and indicated that “there is ample evidence of an overarching conspiracy between” Adobe, Apple, Google, and the other companies. As part of this conspiracy, the judge indicated that there is clear evidence that Adobe shared payroll information with the other companies in an effort to keep wages consistent and low between the firms.

Adobe and the other companies must now return to the drawing board and come up with a new proposed settlement amount that is larger. They must then get the settlement approved by the same judge. If they aren’t able to come up with a new settlement that is acceptable to the judge, the case against Adobe, Apple, Google, and Intel will proceed to a trial, where damage amounts could potentially be much higher for each of the companies involved.

The Adobe training programs at American Graphics Institute are one way to improve the likelihood of securing better wages and a rewarding career. With thousands of companies and tens of thousands of individual employees recognizing the value of AGI’s courses, the training programs are one way to help provide a rewarding career.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.