Nearly 60,000 Silicon Valley workers can now sue Apple, Google and other tech companies for colluding to keep salaries low by agreeing not to poach each other's workers, a federal appeals court ruled.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday to let an earlier decision stand to let workers sue the companies as a group. Damages could total more than $9 billion, Reuters reported.
Other companies, Intel and Adobe Systems, were mentioned in the original case in 2011 which accused the companies of conspiring to keep the employees' pay low by not recruiting each other's employees. That would mean violating the Sherman and Clayton acts "by conspiring to eliminate competition for labor, depriving workers of job mobility and hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation," according to Reuters.
The class-action lawsuit could force the companies to settle rather than fight in court.