More than four years after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jointly released the Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals in 2016 (Antitrust Guidance), the DOJ has brought its first criminal indictments for wage-fixing and no-poach agreements. The 2016 Antitrust Guidance, released in the last few months of the Obama Administration, warned human resource professionals that agreements between competitors to set wages or to refrain from soliciting each other’s employees — so-called no-poach agreements — could result in criminal prosecution under U.S. antitrust laws. The guidance represented a considerable expansion of the agencies’ enforcement policy in labor markets, as the DOJ had previously only prosecuted such agreements civilly.
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