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No poach agreements between employers play a starring role in recent federal multi-district litigation class action lawsuits

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation recently consolidated three class action cases by employees of two of the world’s largest rail equipment suppliers in federal court in Pennsylvania. All three lawsuits accuse the competitor companies of agreeing not to solicit, recruit, or hire each other’s workers without permission from the hiring company. The agreement allegedly started in 2009, ran through 2016, and impacted various skilled employees, including project managers, engineers, executives, business unit heads, and corporate officers. The class action complaints allege that the agreement suppressed employee salaries and benefits and, as a result, violated Sections One and Three of the federal antitrust Sherman Act.

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