It is really just a Friday morning funny to me but IDG News Service reports that a list of Silicon Valley cultural icons are being sued for illegally trying to change the Silicon Valley culture of perverted and indiscriminate job hopping. IDG says
"A California class action lawsuit puts Apple (APPL) at the center of a conspiracy involving Google (GOOG), Adobe (ADBE), Intel (INTL) and others to keep employee wages down."
In the 20teens, with jobless claims still rising and everyone everywhere happy just to have a job, I assume that the stories about the good old days of the 1990s in Silicon Valley are just as interesting along 101 as Grey Eagles' stories about the good old days at DG of the 1970s are here on 128 and 495 (this link to a Grey Eagles story is old but the BS goes on even today -- if you're interested -- on Facebook and LinkedIn).
Yes, there was a time in Redwood Shores or Palo Alto or out near SJO where you could walk into a bar at 7pm and leave with two or three RSO offers by 9. But -- and based only on reading the IDG article -- apparently the recruiters got sick of working late (and in bars) and accelerated the Silicon Valley job-hopping process by simply working their way through a competitor's phone directory (how 1990ish) during working hours.
That was sacriligous (sp.?) in the eyes of Jobs, Schmidt et al. It was OK with them if you wanted to change jobs three times a year but at least have the common decency not to do it on our dime... and our time. So they colluded -- along with Adobe, Intuit (INTU) and others -- not to cold call each other's employees. (Noticably missing from the list: eBay, Oracle and Sun.)
"No can do," said the U.S. Department of Justice in 2009, at least under California law. So the companies agreed to stop.
Now the whole class of Silicon Valley bar hoppers who didn't get cold called during the period of the "illegal unfair" agreement are suing to get back the compensation they lost because the Valley's employment churn was turned down a notch by the agreement.
Only in America.
-- Dennis Byron