January 07, 2021

When HR Colludes it Makes the News!

During our January 27th webcast, “Don’t Play With My Pay: A Wage & Hour Update,” we briefly discussed the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) publication that came out a few years ago. “Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals” was published in October 2016. It warns HR Pros or any person acting on the employer’s behalf from engaging in certain activities. This includes the reminder that, “agreements among employers not to recruit certain employees or not to compete on terms of compensation are illegal.”

On January 7th, the DOJ announced it filed a lawsuit against a health care company and its related entity for “agreeing with competitors not to solicit senior-level employees.”

What’s the problem?  Why would the law prohibit employers from effecting “no poaching” agreements or otherwise prohibiting others from soliciting or enticing their employees away?  As the DOJ explains, “competing for top-talent is the bedrock of the American market.” Limiting that competition “deprives employees of competitive opportunities” and “suppress[es] competition.”

The cost? Employers found guilty may face a maximum penalty of $100M (yep, that’s right Million!).

Lessons Learned?  No secret handshakes, winks or nods.  Look at your own house. If you maintain positive employee relations, it will be harder for your employees to be enticed away.  Conduct stay interviews. Engage your workforce. What keeps them with you?  Have at least as much commitment to them as you hope they have to you and your company.

P.S. If you did miss the January webcast, you can still access it and receive 1.25 credits pre-approved by HRCI and SHRM. $25 pp. Just click here for the full program description and to register.