Apple and Google are back at the negotiations table after the judge rejected the settlement deal they had come up with in the wage-fixing suit.The two companies are siding together and asking the judge to allow them to reschedule the trial as they are back to negotiating how much money they’re going to pay in the case.
The original proposed sum was of $324.5 million (€247 million), which is a fraction of what the damages are estimated at, which is over $3 billion (€2.28 billion). Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe found themselves in an awkward position after Judge Lucy Koh rejected the deal, saying that the sum was too small and that they’d need to put some more money on the table.
CNET reports that a court document indicates that the tech companies and the workers have met with retired judge Layn Phillips as part of the mediation and they’ve all requested a new trial date.
The scandal has been going on for several years now as the first accusations were filed back in 2011, when tech workers accused the companies of entering a deal that prohibited each other from poaching employees from one another, which also helped keep the salaries lower than they should have.
Tech employees said that the conspiracy limited their job mobility and kept a tight grip on their salaries. Following the announcement of the proposed sum that the companies were to pay, some of the people involved in the class action suit came forth and asked the judge to throw out the deal because it wasn’t nearly enough, especially considering the fact that there are 64,000 people involved and the lawyers would get most of it anyway.
Emails exchanged between Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, and Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, then CEO, discussing the agreement have been made public, much to the companies’ embarrassment. Judge Koh has already established that the two leaders were among the key players in creating the agreement.
The companies have since been trying to come up with a sum to appease the thousands of workers in an effort to prevent the case to go to full trial, which would expose to the public even more emails exchanged between execs. It is presumed that this could damage the image of the companies quite a bit, so it’s understandable why they’re trying so hard to come up with a number.