- A suit charging Microsoft with entering into restrictive hiring agreements with other tech companies was dismissed by a California court yesterday.
- The suit named a large number of companies, including Microsoft, which allegedly had special arrangements with Google to prevent poaching of staff.
- The judge declared that the employees had waited too long to file the suit.
The current lawsuit followed up on a class-action suit filed in September by hi-tech employees against Intel, Google, Apple, Intuit, Lucasfilm, Pixar and Adobe Systems, which charged those companies with fixing and suppressing employee compensation and restricting employee mobility.
In that case, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California approved a $415 million settlement between the tech workers and Intel, Google, Apple and Adobe. Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar had earlier settled with the workers.
The same seven tech companies settled similar charges in 2010 with the U.S. Department of Justice. At that time, the companies agreed “not to enter into any agreements that prevent competition for employees,” but admitted no wrongdoing.
Microsoft argued that all of the alleged non-solicitation agreements were unilateral agreements in which it agreed not to solicit from its partners in order to “protect Microsoft’s business partners, customers, vendors, and affiliated companies from Microsoft’s recruiting efforts.”