FTC & DOJ Release HR Guidelines for Antitrust Laws

On October 20,2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to educate HR professionals and other employees involved in hiring and other compensatory decisions.

The FTC and the DOJ work together to enforce U.S. antitrust laws which prohibit certain restrictions on competition. These laws are enforced against employers for practices like price fixing among competitors. But it is also the agencies’ job to position the antitrust laws to entitle workers to the benefits of a competitive market for their services.

Their guidance said, “an agreement among competing employers to limit or fix the term of employment for potential hires may violate the antitrust laws if the agreement constrains individual firm decision-making with regard to wages, salaries or benefits; terms of employment; or even job opportunities.”

Let’s give you a few examples of how an individual is likely violating the antitrust laws:

  • Agrees with individual(s) at another company to refuse or solicit or hire that other company’s employees. (The so-called “no poaching” agreements.)
  • Agrees with individual(s) at another company about employee salary or other terms of compensation, either at a specific level or within a range.

Even if an individual does not agree verbally, or in writing, to limit employee compensation or hiring–like evidence of discussions and/or parallel behavior–may lead to an inference or strong suggestion that the individual (employer, hiring staff, etc.) has agreed to do just that.

According to the guidance, the DOJ intends to criminally investigate blatant no-poaching or wage-fixing agreements that are unrelated or unnecessary to a bigger and real collaboration between the employers.

What does this mean for your nonprofit organization?

Contact the experts at Colorado Nonprofit Insurance Agency, part of HUB International in Denver, Colorado at 303-894-0298. We will work with you to ensure you are getting the most out of your coverage.