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Silicon Valley Wage Settlement Gets Tentative OK

03/04/2015 | 02:36pm US/Eastern

A judge in a closely watched court battle over alleged collusion on hiring among Silicon Valley technology giants gave preliminary approval late Tuesday to a $415 million settlement that will fund payouts to thousands of employees.

Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. had agreed to the settlement with representatives of 64,000 current and former workers to resolve a class-action lawsuit alleging they conspired not to hire each other's employees, limiting wages from 2005 to 2009.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif., gave preliminary approval to the settlement, after having rejected an earlier $324.5 million proposal.

The settlement "provides a neutral and fair way to compensate Class members based on their salary and alleged injury," Judge Koh wrote.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment, while Google, Intel and Adobe didn't respond immediately to emails seeking comment on Wednesday.

"We are pleased that the companies are no longer engaged in the challenged practices and that the court has preliminarily approved the cash fund for the class members," said Kelly M. Dermody, one of the lead plaintiff attorneys, in an emailed statement.

In August 2014, Judge Koh rejected an earlier settlement, which would have paid the current and former employees a total of $324.5 million. The rejection followed an objection by one of the named plaintiffs in the case, Michael Devine. Mr. Devine has said he supports the new settlement.

Jeff Elder contributed to this article.

Write to Alistair Barr at alistair.barr@wsj.com

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