DOJ’s 1st wage-fixing indictment is a warning to Cos.

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On December 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division announced in U.S. v. Jindal the criminal indictment of a former owner of a North Texas physical therapist staffing company for conspiring with competitors to suppress wages for physical therapists. The indictment marks a significant turning point in the Antitrust Division’s prosecutorial efforts against so-called wage-fixing and no-poach agreements, because it is the first public criminal enforcement action against such agreements. In this article, Axinn partner Tiffany Rider and associates James Moore and John O’Toole address the antitrust agencies’ guidance for anti-competitive agreements in labor markets; the Antitrust Division’s securing of its first criminal wage-fixing indictment; and key takeaways from this case.