Investigation of No-Poach Policies in Major DMV Industries

Migliaccio & Rathod LLP is currently investigating large businesses and consulting firms in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas (“DMV”) who have been accused or suspected of implementing no-poach policies in order to illegally retain upper-level employees. These policies have been reported in a variety of industries including healthcare, government contracting, defense contracting, technology, pharmaceuticals, and more. No-poach policies are made amongst competitors who agree not to attempt to “poach” each other’s top level employees. Without these policies in place, competitors may offer competitive employment opportunities to employees working for rivaling companies in a given industry. These policies not only violate federal antitrust laws and are being criminally prosecuted, but they also violate state laws and are being addressed through civil suits which pursue damages for the impact of these policies on employees’ careers. Given that these policies block intra-industry competition for top level employees, the employees, sometimes unknowingly, miss out on career growth and benefits such as higher compensation, better benefits and expanded professional opportunities or cross-training. Moreover, companies who engage in these no-poach policies, circumvent normal market-regulated competitive wages by eliminating other potential offers, thus locking their top talents into whatever wage they so desire.

Previous lawsuits against these no-poach policies have prevailed in each of the industries mentioned above. Notable companies and institutions which have only in the past few years had to eliminated their no-poaching policies include Google, Duke and UNC Medical, and Booz Allen and CACI. In fact, these no-poach policies have serious federal anti-trust implications and have a long history of having been prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”). The DOJ has taken up civil cases involving railway employees and fast food workers as well as the Duke medical faculty case mentioned above. In a first for the DOJ, they recently brought criminal charges against United Health’s Surgical Care Affiliates for their use of no-poach policies. As a result, multiple class action civil suits in the same matter against United Health are in the midst of litigation. Most recently, after FBI investigation, a federal grand jury in Las Vegas, Nevada prosecuted VDA OC LLC, a healthcare staffing agency, for its no poach agreement with another competing agency. VDA OC LLC agreed not to recruit or hire nurses in the Clark County School District, who worked under the competing agency, in an effort to restrict wage increases. The ruling states that such an agreement violates the Sherman Act which protects competition in the market. These cases are increasingly common in the healthcare and many other industries as these detrimental policies are exposed by the DOJ and/or employees themselves. In the DMV, our firm is aware that many companies in various industries may be utilizing these policies and are hoping to hold them to account through civil class action suits.

Are you an employee in one of the above named or similar industries within the DMV and were or suspect you were subject to a no-poach policy during your previous or ongoing employment?

If so, we would like to speak with you. Please complete the contact form on this page, send us an email at [email protected], or give us a call at (202) 470-3520 for more information.

Attorneys Committed to Fighting Wage Theft

The lawyers at Migliaccio & Rathod LLP have years of experience in class action litigation against large corporations, including in cases involving wage theft and unfair & deceptive trade practices. More information about our current cases and investigations is available on our blog.