Apple, Google resume talks with tech workers in wage-fixing suit

After a federal judge threw out a settlement in August, the two sides have come together and are requesting a new trial date.

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Judge Lucy Koh said the settlement should be higher because of the Plaintiffs' strong case. Shara Tibken/CNET

Four Silicon Valley companies have resumed mediation talks with tech workers who sued the firms for allegedly colluding to fix wages, according to a court document filed Wednesday.

Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe have come together with the plaintiffs, after Judge Lucy Koh, of the Northern District of California in San Jose, in August rejected a $324.5 million settlement as being too low.

The court document said that the tech companies and the workers have met with retired judge Layn Phillips as part of the mediation and that both parties requested a new trial date.

Spokespeople for Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe declined to comment.

Wednesday's filing is the latest from the high-profile case. In the lawsuit filed in 2011, tech workers accused the companies of entering into no-poaching agreements in an attempt to keep salaries for the workers artificially low.

The wage-fixing directives allegedly came from the top, with the lawsuit basing much of the case on emails from Steve Jobs, Apple's late co-founder, and Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, discussing the agreement. Koh previously said in a ruling that they were among the "key players in creating and enforcing the anti-solicitation agreements."

The companies said in April that they had reached a deal with the workers as a way of avoiding a drawn out legal battle. Had the plaintiffs won in court, they could have received damages of more than $9 billion. Instead, Koh said the proposed settlement should have been higher because the plaintiffs had made such a strong case against the companies.

Reuters earlier reported the news.

 

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