October 27, 2022

DOJ Announces Employers’ Anti-Poaching Conspiracy

On October 27th, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a health care staffing company pleaded guilty and was sentenced for entering into and engaging in a conspiracy with a competitor to allocate employee nurses and to fix the wages of those nurses.

How did it happen? The regional manager of the staffing firm participated in a conspiracy with another contract health care staffing firm to suppress and eliminate competition.

Why is this an issue? When the indictment was issued last year, a DOJ representative described it this way. “When employers conspire to allocate employees and fix wages, it robs American workers of higher pay and the ability to bargain for better, higher-paying jobs.”

The company was ordered to pay a criminal fine of $62,000 and restitution of $72,000 to victim nurses.

Lessons Learned. Hiring managers and those involved with contract administration need to understand antitrust rules and proactive practices to avoid even the appearance of such activity.

Join us!!  If you are reading this before November 4th, join the Carroll County SHRM conference in-person or remotely and my morning keynote presentation, “Ethics, Antitrust, and Whistleblowing.”  If you can’t make it, click here to check out FiveL Company’s archived webcast by the same title that aired August 24, 2022. $25 pp and still provides 1.25 SHRM and HRCI (business) credits.