Apple, Google and two other Silicon Valley companies have agreed to pay $415 million in a second attempt to resolve a class-action lawsuit alleging they formed an illegal cartel to prevent their workers from leaving for better-paying jobs. The settlement filed Thursday in a San Jose, California, federal court revises a $324.5 million agreement that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected as inadequate five months ago. Koh indicated that she believed the more than 60,000 workers represented in the case should be paid at least $380 million, including attorney fees.
If Koh approves the latest settlement, it would avoid a potentially embarrassing trial over claims that Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. secretly agreed not to recruit each other's employees from 2005 to 2009. Plaintiffs accused the four tech titans in the 2011 lawsuit of limiting job mobility and, as a result, keeping a lid on salaries.
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