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Settlement in Employee Lawsuit Over Apple, Google’s Hiring Rejected By Federal Judge

Last week, a federal judge refused a $324.5 million class action settlement that would have ended a business litigation lawsuit filed by Silicon Valley tech workers. The suit was alleging that four major companies, including Apple and Google, limited the workers’ wages and their career mobility by agreeing to not steal employees from one another.

According to an August 8 USA Today article, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh called the companies’ proposed settlement, which also involved Intel and Adobe, “below the range of reasonableness.”

The business litigation lawsuit, originally filed in 2011, alleged that the companies took part in a “conspiracy” to prevent workers from receiving fair wages and job mobility between 2005 and 2009, breaching antitrust laws and affecting tens of thousands of employees, USA Today reported.

According to Reuters, Koh wrote that she believed there is “substantial and compelling evidence” that Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs “was a, if not the, central figure in the alleged conspiracy.”

The eventual damages and employment law claims that the four companies will have to dole out could reach into the billions, the USA Today article reports.

In recent years, businesses large and small have become increasingly frequent targets of lawsuits from employees who’ve hired a business litigation attorney or employment claims lawyer to seek compensation.

In 2013 alone, approximately 58% of small businesses had a legal problem of some kind, and in many courts across the country, more than half of the cases involve a business.

Have you ever been involved in business or breach of contract litigation? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.