FTC and DOJ: COVID-19 No Excuse for Anticompetitive Labor and Employment Practices

  • The FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a joint statement regarding their focus on employers, staffing agencies, and recruiters, among others, who they warn may take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to engage in collusion or anticompetitive conduct that harms the interests of employees who provide essential services and reduce the competitiveness of the labor market.
  • According to the statement, unlawful anticompetitive conduct includes agreements to lower wages or to reduce salaries, no-poach agreements, anticompetitive non-compete agreements, and the unlawful exchange of competitively sensitive employee information.
  • The FTC and DOJ warn that unlawful anticompetitive conduct may subject companies and individuals involved in the hiring, recruiting, retention, or placement of workers to civil and criminal liability.