Louisiana residents may be familiar with an ongoing lawsuit alleging that senior officers in companies from Google Inc., Apple Inc., Intuit Inc., Intel Corp., Adobe systems, Walt Disney Pixar, and Lucasfilm Ltd. conspired and colluded to eliminate competition for open positions in their companies by agreeing not to recruit employees from each other’s companies. The former workers of these companies allege that these actions have caused them to lose opportunities for better jobs and higher pay. As a result, the former employees are suing these companies for millions of dollars in alleged losses of earning opportunities.
This business litigation is quite complex, as it involves a multitude of plaintiffs and defendants. In fact, the judge soon will be ruling on whether the lawsuit can proceed as a class action lawsuit. The class members include former engineers, administrative assistants and even sous chefs of the named defendant companies.
Recently, the judge also ruled that some of the e-mail communications that the former employees are seeking are protected under the attorney-client privilege. Therefore, these documents may not be viewed by the plaintiffs.
Employment and business litigation frequently arises in mid-to-large size companies. However, no business owners are immune from such lawsuits. It is important to understand one’s legal rights and obligations if faced with the prospect of business litigation. It is extremely important to understand all of the options that are available. Preparation is essential to a successful outcome in these types of cases, as these cases are frequently very complex and difficult to navigate.
Source: The Washington Post, “Google May Not Have to Give Ex-Workers Many Documents in Lawsuit” Joel Rosenblatt, March 1, 2013