Debevoise Discusses Employee “No-Poach” Agreements and Antitrust

Since the fall of 2016, federal, state, and private enforcers have sharpened their focus on allegedly anticompetitive restrictions in labor markets: so-called “no-poach” and wage-fixing agreements. This remains a hotly debated topic, with the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Washington State Attorney General this month submitting consolidated amicus briefs in three proposed antitrust class actions filed in a Washington federal court dueling over the appropriate legal standard. Nevertheless, it is becoming clear that while certain restrictions— “naked”[1] agreements on hiring between competitors for employees—carry grave risk of both criminal penalties and treble civil damages, other restrictions on employee … Read more