The Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday jointly issued guidance to human resource professionals and others involved in hiring and compensation decisions. This guidance is the first to address the legality of exchanges of salary and compensation information under the antitrust laws since the agencies jointly issued Statements of Antitrust Enforcement in Healthcare more than 20 years ago. This guidance comes in the wake of highly publicized antitrust enforcement actions in this area, including the DOJ's civil enforcement actions against high-tech companies that the Department alleged had entered into agreements with competitors not to poach each other's employees.

The agencies' guidance comes with a warning. Going forward, the DOJ has announced that it will criminally investigate no-poaching or wage-fixing agreements that are unrelated or unnecessary to a larger, legitimate collaboration between the employers. The newly issued guidance has a Q&A with scenarios that HR professionals may encounter from day to day, and the agencies also have issued a quick reference card.

Ballard Spahr will host a webinar in the next few weeks to discuss this guidance in more detail. If you would like to receive the invitation, please click here.

Ballard Spahr's Antitrust and Competition and Labor and Employment Groups routinely counsel clients on the antitrust implications of business decisions and the full range of labor and employment issues, including drafting, reviewing, and defending hiring and compensation policies.

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