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Lawsuit filed against Pratt and Whitney over illegal no-poach hiring agreements

The Joseph Saveri Law Firm, an antitrust firm, has filed a class action complaint against Pratt andamp; Whitney and other aerospace companies, alleging they entered and maintained no-poach hiring agreements for nearly 10 years, if not longer.A no-poach agreement is an agreement between two competing employers not to recruit or hire each other's employees. These agreements are typically kept secret, creating an information imbalance and preventing employees from negotiating higher salaries. Because of these reasons, no-poach agreements are illegal under U.S. antitrust law.The lawsuit was filed in December in federal court in Connecticut on behalf of an engineer formerly employed by QuEST Global Services, an aerospace company also named as a co-conspirator. Along with Pratt andamp; Whitney, other defendant aerospace companies include Belcan, LLC; Cyient, Inc.; Parametric Solutions, Inc.; and Agilis Engineering Inc. All of these entities supply laborers to Pratt andamp; Whitney for aerospace projects.Some named defendants also include high-level executives who are accused of directly participating in the anticompetitive scheme.The Department of Justice recently unsealed a criminal complaint that accused a former Pratt andamp; Whitney executive of participating in a long-running conspiracy with managers and executives at the aforementioned defendant aerospace companies with the goal of restricting the hiring and recruiting of engineers and other skilled laborers. To date, six individuals have been indicted for their roles in the conspiracy. Pratt andamp; Whitney told a local media outlet that the company is fully cooperating with federal authorities. However, the company has declined to comment on the lawsuit, which represents one side of a complaint in court. "The aerospace industry is essential to the local and national economy, and to the security of our nation and the safety of its citizens. This industry's labor market must be fair and competitive for workers who form the backbone of such an important sector of American society," said the plaintiff engineer's attorney, Joseph Saveri. "When aerospace companies engage in these unlawful agreements, they suppress wages across the entire industry. This case's facts clearly indicate these companies intended to do just that. Instead of competing with other firms to retain employees by offering higher wages and better benefits, they denied their employees opportunities for career advancement and compensation of the true value of their skills."The aerospace industry employs roughly 2 million people, or roughly 1.4% of the United States labor face.In the lawsuit -- Doe v. Raytheon Technology Corp. et al., No. 22-cv-00035 (D. Conn) -- plaintiffs seek treble damages and injunctive relief.Pratt andamp; Whitney has not yet responded to requests for comments.Pratt andamp; Whitney is a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies Corporation.
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