WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) along with the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division issued guidance last week for human resource (HR) professionals and other employees involved in compensation and hiring decisions.


The guidelines help companies make antitrust law decisions. This specific guidance focuses on “no-poaching” agreements. Workers have a right to the benefits a competitive hiring market provides them. “No-poaching agreements,” where companies that should ordinarily compete for employees agree not to hire from each other’s firms, harm workers.


“Competition is essential to well-functioning markets, and job markets are no exception,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said. “These guidelines will help ensure that employers understand how to comply with the antitrust laws and will help employees reap the benefits of a competitive market for their services.”


The guidelines also focus on how the law deals with a company’s sharing of sensitive information, such as compensation information, with other firms.


“Antitrust violations in the employment arena can greatly harm employees and impact earnings over the course of their entire careers,” said acting assistant attorney general Renata Hesse of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “HR professionals need to understand that these violations can lead to severe consequences, including criminal prosecution.”

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