On January 5, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission), an agency charged with enforcing federal antitrust laws and protecting competition, proposed a new rule that would prohibit “employers” from imposing non-competes on “workers.” The proposed ban would make it illegal for employers to enter into or attempt to enter into non-compete agreements with workers
Dale Grimes, a member of the firm and co-chair of its Antitrust & Trade Practices Group, has more than 30 years of experience handling civil litigation matters in both state and federal trial and appellate courts and administrative agencies throughout Tennessee with a special focus on antitrust, consumer fraud, complex litigation, class actions, telecommunications, energy and water. He currently serves as counsel for a major auto manufacturer in a complex auto parts antitrust investigation. In addition to extensive experience in complex cases, including multidistrict litigation, Dale has been counsel of record for defendants in more than 30 class actions.
Human Resources (HR) personnel are now specifically under the scrutiny of the antitrust enforcement agencies. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are typically known for enforcing antitrust laws against price-fixers and bid-riggers. Recently they announced a new set of targets: anti-competitive agreements between employers related to hiring and compensation. For the first time, these agencies have warned HR personnel and their employers they may be criminally prosecuted for agreeing with other companies to fix employee pay (wage-fixing agreements) or not to recruit each other’s employees (no-poaching agreements). Criminal violations of the antitrust laws are felonies and threaten substantial fines and jail time.
Continue Reading HR Personnel (and Employers) Beware: Antitrust Enforcers Warn of Criminal Liability for Compensation, No-Poaching Pacts