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Steve Jobs Threatened Palm To Stop Poaching Employees 270

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from the asymmetry-of-financial-resources dept.
An anonymous reader writes with more news about the no-poach agreements that seemed to plague tech companies. From the article: "Steve Jobs threatened patent litigation if Palm wouldn't agree to stop hiring Apple employees, says former Palm CEO Edward Colligan in a statement dated August 7th, 2012. The allegation is backed up by a trove of recently-released evidence that shows just how deeply Silicon Valley's no-hire agreements pervaded in the mid-2000s. Apple, Google, Intel, and others are the focus of a civil lawsuit into the 'gentleman's agreements,' in which affected employees are fighting for class action status and damages from resulting lost wages, potentially reaching into the hundreds of millions of dollars."
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Steve Jobs Threatened Palm To Stop Poaching Employees

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  • by jareth-0205 (525594) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:51AM (#42668481) Homepage

    It's still surprising when we get a bit more data on exactly *how much* of a dick he was. I wish some of this stuff had come out while he was alive.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:59AM (#42668567)

      Jobs is the reason I have never owned nor ever will own an Apple product. Evil man.

      Nor Oracle products, or use Facebook.

      Yeah, kind of lame, but if everyone would say, enough is enough, things might change. Not holding out much hope for that...

      • by spire3661 (1038968) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @12:14PM (#42670135) Journal
        How about a Ford car? Henry Ford was outright evil. Ever play a record or use a light bulb? Edison was evil as well.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:01AM (#42668587)

      Are you going to extend that to all the other companies that participated in this? For example Google? Because if you read that link, Eric Schmidt not only complies, but even is on record as wanting to do things verbally so there are no paper trails.

      This is a BUNCH of people being fucking colluding dick bags. Singling one out lets the others off the hook.

      • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:06AM (#42668647) Homepage Journal

        It's a general corporate douchebaggery problem.. not a problem with an individual corporate douchebag.

        Though what is being said about Jobs isn't probably off the mark, either...

      • by fredprado (2569351) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:08AM (#42668683)
        They are certainly all to blame. That does not prevent us from saying someone specific is an asshole because of that, and does not make it less true either. I am tired of seeing people here thinking that being one among others makes you less guilty than if you were doing it alone.
        • by erroneus (253617)

          So soldiers really *ARE* murderers? I hardly think "stand your ground" would apply to US soldiers enforcing US government/business will in other nations.

          Charles Manson did not kill anyone. He had other people do it for him at his request. He's in prison and will never get out and he is identified as a murderer. But when it's government? Now we get to call them heroes (and definitely not baby killers) and talk all day about how proud we are of them and we get to completely ignore the reasons or causes o

      • "Eric Schmidt not only complies, but even is on record as wanting to do things verbally so there are no paper trails."

        This is SOP for 99% of businesses honestly, not some big shocking secret unless you have never worked for anything over a small business. Even most public government entities try to run like this which is why so many more laws were created for government. One of the first rules you learn is the CYA by creating a paper trail because you can be absolutely sure your manager who is supposed to protect you wont be doing so because then it put THEIR ass in line for trouble. The second rule is if it could bite you

      • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @11:16AM (#42669467) Homepage

        I recall a year ago our HR department announcing how "we have been reaching out to other companies to assure that your wages are extremely competitive." I also noted that there were no significant raises issued after this announcement. So if somethings was adjusted or changed to assure competitiveness, what was it? Agreements such as these? A reminder that other companies should lower their salary rates?

        There is a bunch of this stuff going on which I always thought was illegal. But if it's not, it needs to be.

        • +1 - people should be aware that what Jobs did was standard operating procedure for large companies
    • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:01AM (#42668597)

      I wish some of this stuff had come out while he was alive.

      A lot of it did. His asshole rep was pretty well-known long before he died. It just couldn't penetrate through the mass of fanboy and media adoration.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You can read more here, http://www.folklore.org

        • You can read more here, http://www.folklore.org/ [folklore.org]

          Folklore.org paints an extremely rosy picture of Jobs compare to what the people in the photo on the top of the page say in person.

          • by rsborg (111459)

            You can read more here, http://www.folklore.org/ [folklore.org]

            Folklore.org paints an extremely rosy picture of Jobs compare to what the people in the photo on the top of the page say in person.

            When replying to a reference, it's good to provide your own for rebuttal. Where's your cite?

      • by SirGarlon (845873)
        Some things never change.
      • by ArhcAngel (247594)
        There is a reason so many people have become iFanatics (tm). Anyone remember Nick Burns [nbc.com] our companies computer guy? That is the stereotypical image the average office worker had/has of their IT dept. Want to know why we have yet to see the year of Linux on the desktop? Just look at the forums where knowledgeable technical people (not n00bs) ask simple questions about how to do something and the responses from kernel developers scolding them for not scouring through thousands of man files (most out of date o
        • by ArhcAngel (247594)
          I forgot to mention. The video in the link is ironic since they used original iMacs as props for the skit.
    • by cod3r_ (2031620)
      After they reinvented the mac and then the iphone/ipod/ipad etc.. Everyone just fellin love with him. Prior to that he was well known dick head. My ex boss told me a story once about some coder that worked for apple and he was in the elevator one day when Jobs walked in. Jobs just looked at him and said "what do you do here?". The coder guy told him more or less and Jobs just said "that doesn't sound very important, your fired" There were a couple other people in the elevator too and it wasn't in jest.
      • by Cigarra (652458)
        [citation needed]

        No, your ex-boss is not a trusted source.
      • by dingen (958134)

        Steve Jobs did fire a guy based on a single conversation in an elevator. But the guy he fired was in management, certainly not a developer. It was the time when Jobs was asked back as iCEO in '96 or '97. He realized Apple was full of suits, doing lots of talking but added very little to the company. A lot of people were fired at that time, but mostly at the top. Almost the entire board was replaced, new senior VPs were appointed, the way the company was structured changed a lot. All of that was needed becau

    • by Virtucon (127420) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:05AM (#42668639)

      You didn't need to wait until after his death. There are plenty of people out there who knew this, ex-employees and partners all have spoken up.. Frankly, he fit the mold of every modern industrialist when it came to competition. It amazes me now how much people want to white wash him as some visionary and cult hero, he was just a ruthless entrepreneur who would walk over anybody to get what he wanted. Now it would be really great if the planet could get off his dried up nutsack.

      Here's some of his less famous exploits. [businessinsider.com]

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        I think the real reason I have never looked at Job's as a hero is his hypocrisy. Ruthless people don't bother me as long as they play by their own rules. It always seemed like whatever Apple did or whatever Steve did was okay even if he'd just given someone else the public riot act, or sued them for the very same.

        • by andydread (758754)
          His hypocrisy was unparalled. Screaming for standards while trying out proprietary Sony and co. among other things.
    • by poetmatt (793785)

      It's still surprising when we get a bit more data on exactly *how much* of a dick he was. I wish some of this stuff had come out while he was alive.

      Are you kidding? How far back do we need to go? When the iphone was released and they had paid actors that stood in line. The product they sell is not being sold on it's merits, but on attempting to look popular/hip. All the talk about how GPL is somehow "limiting" and how "BSD is more free", even though BSD can = free code becomes nonfree. with thousands and thousands of apple paid folks to push that viewpoint in that somehow BSD is better for being more free, while the same people who take advantage of BS

    • I don't know why you are surprised by the news mentioned in the article. This is very old news. It was common for the big tech players to agree to not poach each other back in the late 90's and early 00's. Probably hidden better these days. It was "shocking" when this story broke a decade ago.

      These agreements are not exclusive to tech industry either. A lot of niche service industries have similar "gentleman's agreement" amongst themselves.

      I guess nothing like calling Steve Jobs a dick to win some free mo

  • Weapons... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Deus.1.01 (946808) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:51AM (#42668487) Journal

    Isn't this basically what patents have amounted to now?

    Ammo to gain leverage....and still loose and flexible to be used on practically everything.

    • by firex726 (1188453)

      Yep, and even if they go in knowing they will lose, it'll still cost the other company a ton of money to defend against it.

  • iProtection (Score:4, Funny)

    by GeekWithAKnife (2717871) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:52AM (#42668497)
    Help us protect you from being consensually hired, or else.
  • by N1AK (864906) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:57AM (#42668533) Homepage
    It doesn't affect me directly but I really do hope that this ends in an eye-bleedingly high cost to the companies found to have colluded. They manipulated the labour market to artificially keep wages down and that needs to be punished by costs so big that anyone considering it in the future would have to be certifiably insane.

    Factor in that the cost to employees could potentially be equivalent to years of lost wages and the ability to utilise this money and it really wouldn't be unreasonable to see a figure of a few $100,000 per employee theoretically covered by the no hire agreement. Give them that figure then take double as much as a fine to penalise the behaviour and you could be talking considerably more than a billion dollars and that imo is exactly what they deserve.
    • by shentino (1139071) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:08AM (#42668685)

      I wouldn't call it collusion if Apple used the threat of a patent lawsuit to coerce Palm.

      I call that duress.

      • by N1AK (864906)
        Assuming that is the case then I would accept that Palm are less at fault than Apple however this no-hire 'conspiracy' covered a significant number of firms and I doubt Apple was the only one at fault. Finally, even if Palm was threatened with consequences it doesn't completely absolve them of responsibility.
        • by andydread (758754)
          Its possible that Apple's Jobs threatened the others with software-patent lawsuits also as they did with Palm and they complied after all Google is no known for being a patent hoarder so probably would have capitulated to Steve's demands.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      I'm sure it will be as eye-bleedingly high as the fines levied against HSBC for laundering staggering amounts of drug money. Which is to say it will be a mere fraction of the profit from breaking the law. After all, in this case it was only thousands of tech workers losing potential salary, it's not like anyone important (from the point of view of Washington or Wall St) was harmed.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by DarkOx (621550)

      It doesn't affect me directly but I really do hope that this ends in an eye-bleedingly high cost to the unions. They manipulated the labor market to artificially keep wages high and that needs to be punished by costs so big that anyone considering it in the future would have to be certifiably insane.

      See cuts both ways. The best thing for the market is to disallow all collusion.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        That is nothing like the topic at hand.

        A union can not force you to hire its members. You can find non-union workers or train some yourself.

        The best thing for the market is to realize that some participants are at information and power disadvantages and to attempt to provide a level playing field.

    • by eth1 (94901) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @11:26AM (#42669605)

      I think even employees that didn't look for new jobs should be part of the class. After all, if the companies knew they'd have a hard time leaving, it would allow them to keep they wages of ALL employees lower.

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:59AM (#42668559)

    Companies demand "right to work" laws to protect them from unions, under the pretense that this also gives the worker the right to leave anytime and go work wherever they choose. Exposing crap like this just shows how much a farce that really is. "Right to work" only benefits companies, NEVER employees.

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:07AM (#42668661)

      Corporations are such a huge interference in the free market, I'm not sure the answer is to create something just as powerful that can counterbalance it. I think we might want to restrict what a corporation is a bit more. I'm not sure that limited liability makes sense for the people making the day-to-day decisions. Limited liability should probably only apply to passive investors.

      Remember that corporations are a simple trick of law, and we can do with them as we please.

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:09AM (#42668691)

      I don't think California is a "right to work" state.

      But the issue of Poaching or Employees going to a competitor is a problem. Because the company invests in these employees and then they go out to their competitor, to give them value. It is like paying your competitors bills.

      I think the real issue is the complete inadequacies in most companies Human Resource Departments. They need to be active in making sure each worker is getting their market value rate, as well insuring they have opportunity to grow and advance in the organization. Otherwise we have what we have now. Get a job work there for a few years to boost your resume and skills, realize you job is leading you nowhere, then you go to an other company for higher pay and a better position and repeat. Leaving the company that you left having to hire a replacement for you, and probably having to pay the rate your new job got combined with having to train them with the skills needed to work in the organization.

      • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:20AM (#42668801)

        I think the real issue is the complete inadequacies in most companies Human Resource Departments. They need to be active in making sure each worker is getting their market value rate,

        When Microsoft wanted to destroy Borland, they offered key engineers way above market rate to leave. They didn't want them to do anything special at Microsoft, they just wanted to bleed Borland. It worked.

        • That is exception to the general practice. However I doubt that Borland, was offering a better work environment than Microsoft anyways.
          Do the Same Job, Get the same benefits and opportunity, But for more money. However if Borland made the employees feel like they will grow as the company does, many will turn down Microsofts short term Money for a chance for more in the future with Borland.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

          If those key engineers were crucial to the company's success (more crucial than all of management, apparently), they should have been payed a wage that reflected their true value. Microsoft simply arbitraged.

          Free market's a bitch, ain't it?

      • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:27AM (#42668875) Homepage

        But the issue of Poaching or Employees going to a competitor is a problem.

        It is only a problem if you haven't made it so that your employees really *want* to work for you. You can do that a lot of ways: high salary, really really nice offices, free lunches for everyone, a 40- or even 36-hour work week, really cool code, etc.

      • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:46AM (#42669063)

        So now employees are slaves?

        A company does not invest in employees, it pays them for their time. They are not things to own. If the company wants to avoid any "investment", they can only hire employees trained in exactly what they want. If none can be found the company can feel free to close up shop.

        I sell my time, if you want to make my time more valuable to you by training me during this time I am selling you that is your choice. Once the time you have bought has come to an end I owe you nothing. If this was not the case then I would have a pension, and raises that kept me at market salary. Instead we now have to switch jobs to get the market rate as raises never increase at that rate.

        • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @11:05AM (#42669313)

          "So now employees are slaves?"

          No. I didn't say that.
          I just pointed out that employee turn over is bad for the company. If they really want to reduce the turn over they need to make working there better.

          A company does invest in their employees. When you start a job, there is a period of time where you learn the ropes, figure out the details of your job. They don't just drop you and go. Their is investment, granted now there is less investment then before.

          However we are in a catch 22 problem. Companies cannot invest too much in their employees because there is just to much turn over. There is too much turn over because they don't feel that they are invested in the company.

          It isn't about what you owe the company, it is about the company trying to keep you there. However if you have any sense of work ethic, and the company does give you some training, you should attempt to be sure your services are valuable to the company, not that you owe them anything, but you are selling your services and you should try to give them a good product for their money.

          • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @11:15AM (#42669449)

            I have no reason to give them a better product than any other buyer in the market. If they would give me a reason I would.

            It is not a catch 22 at all. If they want people to stay they must pay market rates. It really is that simple. What they want is to train someone into an expensive employee and not pay that person what he is now worth. While that would be ideal from their point of view, it would also be ideal if a unicorn came into the office and did all the work for free, both options are equally likely.

            • Hence you are often the first to get laid off.
              Your employer is your customer. If you just offer the same services as everyone else, why should they bother to keep you. If you somehow offer services better then others then they will be more willing to keep you.

              Your comments just make you sound like a lazy slacker who hates the MAN.

              You are a resource to the company. If you do the bare minimum they will replace you with a better resource. Sure if you worked hard to be excelent you could still get canned but

      • by mjwalshe (1680392)
        why is it a problem its how the free market works unless you think Stalinist central control and 5 years plans are a good idea - you sound like some sort of "tankie" socialist :-)
      • by thoth (7907)

        But the issue of Poaching or Employees going to a competitor is a problem. Because the company invests in these employees and then they go out to their competitor, to give them value. It is like paying your competitors bills.

        Well too damn bad. This is a "problem" only from the corporate/employer point of view. From the employee point of view, it sounds to me like Corporation X is undervaluing them compared to Corporation Y, holding their market value down. The solution is to be willing adjust their compensation to reflect their value, or be willing to let them go. No different than a star athlete becoming a free agent and taking a better deal (except in the numbers involved, both salary and employee/employer population).

        It cuts

    • by medcalf (68293)
      Not at all true. Places without right to work end up with a few detrimental characteristics for workers. High wages plus union lock in plus deliberate work slowdowns, for example, mean that there are fewer jobs to go around (companies can't afford to hire more people), so it's great for those few employed, but it's terrible for the many you can't see who would have a job if they existed (which they would if the companies had to pay less for them). In addition, having been a contractor in both right to work
    • by shentino (1139071)

      I'm all for giving workers the right to choose if they want a union or not.

      I'm pro worker choice.

      Closed shops and union shops are bad because they force employees to support unions.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Closed shops and union shops are the companies decision. They signed those contracts, no one forced them into it.

        Without unions we would still have 7 day work weeks.

        • by shentino (1139071)

          No, but after signing it, the *workers* are forced to go along with it even thought they have NOT signed it.

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            The workers can opt not to work there, these policies are not hidden like these no poach agreements.

            Personally I think closed shops should be legal, but workers should only be forced to join or create a union not the one that signed the deal. Meaning in theory they could start a competing union or create a union of one.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:00AM (#42668569) Journal
    Former Apple Employee 1: Look, we went to Palm of our own free accord.
    Former Apple Employee 2: That's right, it came down to who treated us better is all.
    Former Apple Employee 3: I mean, you get to hear the cute stories about how Steve Jobs dropped the first prototype of the iPod -- after being told it was as compact as possible -- into a fish tank and when he saw bubbles he said it could be made smaller. But what you didn't hear was later that day when he brought the engineer onto a stage and asked him if he was as smart as possible. When the engineer said "yes" Steve pushed him into a tank with sharks in front of everyone and said, "If he's so smart, how come he just let me push him into a tank of sharks?" Oh those screams will haunt me forever.
    Former Apple Employee 2: Yeah! And when I went to work at Palm I got blankets and clothing and food.
    Former Apple Employee 1: Steve would make us sleep in completely bare rooms on Swedish ergonomic beds and we would have to rub turmeric all over our bodies each day and then we could only wear Apple printed paper clothing and forage for berries in the yard.
    Former Apple Employee 2: After I went to work at Palm they let me get my citizenship!
    Former Apple Employee 3: That's right, Steve had captured Dmitri here in Russia and wouldn't let him be exposed to daylight ... he would scream "NO YOU FOOL IT RUINS THE MEAT!" if he saw someone showing Dmitri a picture of the sun.
    Former Apple Employee 1: We were just happier at Palm is all. There were so many problems at Apple like the Apple tattoos that later became just cast iron branding. I remember Jobs doing mine personally himself with his hand in his pants while screaming "HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?" as he pushed the hot brand from the fire again and again into my lower back.
    Former Apple Employee 2: And the Apple brand shock collars so we couldn't leave campus ...
    Former Apple Employee 3: And the time Jeb got beyond the walled garden only to find there was perimeter after perimeter of different obstacles like spheres that just floated up out of the ground and engulfed you.
    Former Apple Employee 1: Yeah, when he came back, he just didn't have any legs. "A permanent fixture now with fewer buttons" is how Jobs reintroduced him to the work force.
    Former Apple Employee 2: You see, Palm was just nicer. We're happier now and feel once again like human beings.
    • I like this. You need to film it in a dark room with a bunch of chain-smoking hollow eyed guys with nervous twitches. Somewhere in the middle, have a cellphone to go off with a distinctive ring and have two of the guys react like Frankenstein to fire.
    • by ddd0004 (1984672)

      I like the start of your screenplay. Can you convert to a musical? That would be perfect.

  • the first time I got laid off from a bleeding-edge start-up back in '86, I belatedly read the fine print in the non-compete agreement I signed when hiring on. You have all signed such things. Did you read them? Like EULA's you have no choice really so why read it? The agreement pretty much said I could never work again unless I wanted to find a job not involving anything I learned or any skill for which I had been hired...totally sucking slavery IMO. So, I took it to a lawyer who worked such issues, mos
    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      um yes but was this contract Justicable you can sign a contract that says you give up your statutory rights but it would not be enforceable and if you have been made redundant even more so.
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      You have lots of choice, I change them at every job I have ever taken.

      I even signed the "Take a drug test or quit at our request" form and crossed out the take a drug test part and every reference to it. I fully intend to quit if that came up. I know not everyone is in my situation but I have medical problems my blood and urine would disclose my employer has no right to know about. I also have enough financial stability that being unemployed for 6 months would not be that big a deal.

      • by bobbied (2522392)

        You have lots of choice, I change them at every job I have ever taken.

        You do realize that in making a "special" contract that applies only to you it becomes all that more enforceable right? One of the things that can be used to argue the non-compete doesn't apply is if they simply have a default contract that everybody from the admins to the CEO all sign. One can argue that your job function is so much different from the CEO that there is no way the same non-compete contract can apply. It was just a formality that everybody signed the same paperwork, nothing more.

        This is

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          I strike out any part I find objectionable. Mine pretty much says nothing so that is fine.

          I agree it could remove one avenue of defense, but so far so good here. Next time I likely will take it to a lawyer first.

    • by DarenN (411219)

      You do have a choice. Strike out the sections you don't like and return it for approval. Never sign anything because it's "unenforceable". Any reasonable employer will be ok with this, and if they're unreasonable about this, do you really want to work for them?

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      Non-compete contracts are unenforceable in Cali I believe. I had an lawyer suggest that I could move to the state in order to nullify a non-compete contract I was under.

      In your situation, I believe that there where a number of defenses to breaking the contract available. However, I would not suggest anybody use any of them thinking you won't have an issue. Companies can, and sometimes do sue in such situations. Remember, even if it is unlikely the company will prevail in court, it doesn't stop them from d

  • Unions (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285)
    It is interesting how libertarian some IT people claim to be, but as soon as they can't do what they want to do, they sue. There is nothing wrong, from a libertarian or free market point of view, for a group of companies to form a syndicate for the purpose fo managing employees. There is no shareholder value in companies fighting over employees. This only artificially raises labor costs and is a threat to profit. It is much better to agree between companies that the lowest possible compensation will be
    • "a syndicate for the purpose fo managing employees" Isn't this what a union is? Except the guy making a hugely inflated salary is the union head instead of the CEO.
    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      Price fixing cartels are illegal
    • by mk1004 (2488060)

      There is nothing wrong, from a libertarian or free market point of view, for a group of employees to form a syndicate for the purpose of managing employers.

      FTFY

    • by Joehonkie (665142)
      " In the most agressive and impetuous cases, labor will organize as if they have the same rights and profit motivations as management and the firms in order to form their own syndicate to maximize the profits of labor." Yeah, as if they had the same rights.
    • Re:Unions (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mbkennel (97636) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @01:39PM (#42671203)

      | There is no shareholder value in companies fighting over employees. This only artificially raises labor costs and is a threat to profit.

      Why is this "artificial", as opposed to completely expected market phenomenon? Sounds like a very natural free market response.

      | It is much better to agree between companies that the lowest possible compensation will be offered to a agreed upon pool of labor.

      That number is zero.

      | Now, obviously whiny labor who wants a great deal of money for no work is not going to like this

      Whiny plantation owners who wanted a great deal of cotton for no wages didn't like the 13th amendment either.

      Oh, this must be a troll. Sorry I didn't get it before, fundamentalist libertarians are indistinguishable from any parody thereof.

  • Since were telling ghost stories and all, just wondering

  • Jobs was just a bully. After years of being a distant second to the Wintel platform, he made sure Apple wasn't going to be pushed around in the mobile/consumer electronics markets and so did everything a bully would do to protect their interests. Lawsuits, patent hoarding, and threats to their competitors.

    Not sure how or why anybody would actually leave Apple to go to Palm, but I mean if someone offered you better money and better perks then the company you are working for then by all means a person has a

  • by bobbied (2522392) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @11:32AM (#42669661)

    This is an interesting story considering that in Cali, employee non-compete contracts are not enforceable.

    In effect, the result of such "no poaching" agreements was to have the same affect as the non-compete contract with the employee. Employees would be restrained from changing jobs and going to a competitor. Give them class status. This seems like a problem for the Cali courts to figure out.

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      Ahh yes, but this isn't an employee agreement, it's between companies and by that you'll be a toxic asset if somebody tries to hire you and are coerced by threats of legal action if they do. It happens all the time and yes, in right to work states it's especially prevalent. There needs to be changes in the law that prohibit this kind of activity. I speak from experience on this. A few years ago, I was at one firm and had been for five years. When an opportunity came up I was prohibited from interviewin

  • Other dead people become more reverential in death. SJ is becoming more and more evil. A few more years of this and I fear a singularity might rip open.

    • A few more years of this and I fear a singularity might rip open.

      Yes! It's all part of The Great Leader's plans! After gathering hoards of supernatural followers in the afterlife, the foolish Slashdot audience will reshape The Great Leader's image into one of unspeakable evil. Then, as it was written on the first case of the Macintosh, "The evil days will arrive," as the fabric of reality itself is torn asunder, and "He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken" himself, leading his band of demons (outfitted in very s

  • by mbkennel (97636) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @01:27PM (#42671029)

    "poaching" is illegal hunting and theft.

    Employees aren't owned property. Surely businesses in the US greatly enjoy their "at-will" hire privileges, as opposed to EU where there are general government-required employment contracts.

    At-will hire and fire also means employees right to take a new job, also at-will.

  • by mdm42 (244204) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @01:41AM (#42677863) Homepage Journal
    OK, so Apple threatened Palm... so why is there a Google logo on the front page???

    /. eds have completely jumped the shark.

A holding company is a thing where you hand an accomplice the goods while the policeman searches you.

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