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Judge: $324M Settlement In Silicon Valley Tech Worker Case Not Enough 150

itwbennett writes: "A proposed $324.5 million settlement of claims that Silicon Valley companies (Adobe, Apple, Google, and Intel) suppressed worker wages by agreeing not to hire each others' employees may not be high enough, a judge signaled on Thursday. Judge Lucy Koh didn't say whether she would approve the settlement, but she did say in court that she was worried about whether that amount was fair to the roughly 64,000 technology workers represented in the case. Throughout Thursday's hearing, she questioned not just the amount but the logic behind the settlement as presented by lawyers for both the plaintiffs and the defendants."
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Judge: $324M Settlement In Silicon Valley Tech Worker Case Not Enough

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  • Misleading summary (Score:4, Interesting)

    by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @11:44AM (#47282023) Homepage Journal

    All the judge did, was ask whether historical fines to other companies are an appropriate precedent for Apple, Google, and the rest. This isn't "questioning the amount and logic" but regular old due diligence.

  • Re:$507.03 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mikael ( 484 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @11:58AM (#47282181)

    Something significant would be a decades worth of pay-rises for each employee affected.

    That would be $10,000 x 10 x 64000 = $6.4 billion

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 20, 2014 @12:34PM (#47282515)

    If you're not aware of this, then know this:

    (like most media outlets) Slashdot is pretty fucking corrupt. I've seen countless cases where people submit great articles, then a friend of the editors submits the same thing but pure garbage by comparison and it flies up almost instantly.

    It makes some sense since knowing the submitter helps them do a quicker assessment of the value of the story, but in the end, it leads to a really shitty environment that discourages contributions.

    Factor in the stupid not-appropriate-for-Slashdot stories they run and you'll see why this place is turning to shit and losing relevance quickly.

  • Re:More (Score:5, Interesting)

    by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @12:58PM (#47282751)
    Too much money and power are in on the take. Apple is worth about 12% of the entire Nasdaq [bloomberg.com], so Apple + google is about 20% of the whole enchilada. In my Fidelity-managed 401K index fund, for example (that is, basically my life's savings), Apple is my #1 holding, right above Exxon, Google, and Microsoft. So 2 of those 4 would be directly impacted, and Microsoft would no doubt feel some fallout (through rising salaries for their talent).

    In a true democracy this argument should not bear much weight, since MOST (over 50%) of all stock is owned by only 1% of citizens. Most of us have a tiny slice, and I (for example) would benefit much more from higher wages in the tech sector than from a little more growth in my 401K. But in general, we small-potatoes shareholders (that is, almost all shareholders) are too short-sighted to take a hit now for the long-term economy.

    More ominously, real influence is proportional to the wealth of a group rather than how many people are in it. Even if you convinced the bottom 99% of voters, you would still only have a minority of shares.

    The reason I dwell on this is because I think the same logic, exactly, explains why the bank bailout occurred and the implosion of Wall Street had no real corrective result on the US economy or the distribution of wealth.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 20, 2014 @01:19PM (#47282977)

    Let's play with financial data for a moment, shall we?

    Revenue in FY2013:
    Google: $59.8B
    Apple: $170.9B
    Intel: $52.7B
    Adobe: $4B
    Total: $287.4B
    Settlement: $0.324B (0.11% of yearly revenue)

    Median US household income: ~$52K
    0.11% of that: ~$57

    So, this is the equivalent of a regular Joe breaking the law for 7 years and, when caught, being fined $57.

    Is this a deterrent or an encouragement?

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington