Pratt & Whitney Allegedly Limited Outsourced Aerospace Employees’ Career Opportunities in No-Poach Agreement

McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP, (MWA) is bringing a class action against the conspirators involved in an illegal no-poach agreement which intentionally restricted employees’ career mobility and wages. The conspirators involved were Pratt & Whitney, one of the largest aerospace engine design companies in the country, and five aerospace engineering companies which provided outsourced labor for Pratt & Whitney.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a criminal complaint and a warrant for the arrest of an aerospace outsourcing executive working for Pratt & Whitney. According to the complaint, from 2011-2019, this executive, Maresh Patel, instigated and enforced an illegal no-poach agreement among the five outsourcing companies from whom Pratt & Whitney requested labor. This agreement was allegedly conceived to drive down price quotes for labor performed by the unnamed five outsourcing companies. It also offered the added benefit of preventing employee turnover and keeping wages down for outsourcing employees.

If you were an employee at the aerospace engineering companies in question who may have outsourced to Pratt & Whitney and feel your career opportunities were hampered, contact us today for your free consultation!

The No-Poach Agreement Prevented Any Hiring Between Competitors

Although the five outsourcing companies in question were competing for work from Pratt & Whitney, the DOJ complaint alleges representatives from each aerospace company agreed to limit employee movement between the competitors which, in effect, drove down wages. The agreement allegedly prevented Human Resources departments from all five outsourcing companies from interviewing or hiring current employees of employers involved in the conspiracy. All the while, Patel who maintained outsourcing relationships for Pratt & Whitney oversaw this agreement and was frequently called in to enforce it when a member of the conspiracy poached another’s employee.

Competition for quality labor ensures wages stay high and employment conditions are acceptable. However, when companies agree to avoid hiring each other’s employees, there are fewer advancement opportunities for workers within their industry and they are forced to remain in potentially subpar conditions with lower pay.

If you were an employee at any of these aerospace engineering companies who worked with Pratt & Whitney between the years of 2011 and 2019 and feel your wages and opportunities were stunted, contact MWA today for a free consultation.

Attorney Handling this Case

Portrait of Derek Y Brandt Partner of McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP
Partner
Derek Y Brandt

Named one of the top 100 lawyers in Illinois, Derek Brandt is an innovative litigator with decades of experience litigating high-stakes disputes involving some of the most powerful corporate and financial interests in the world. His plaintiff-oriented practice focuses on competition, antitrust, and other commercial and consumer disputes, both on a class and individual basis. 

Mr. Brandt has represented clients large and small, ranging from Fortune 100 and Fortune 150 multi-national companies to smaller publicly traded entities. He has also represented privately held businesses, municipalities, and innumerable individual consumers and investors. Many of his litigations have played out before some of the most influential state and federal courts in America. Examples of Mr. Brandt’s most noteworthy representations include: 

  • Prosecution of an antitrust “tying” claim on behalf of a game-changing ophthalmological surgical device manufacturer against its dominant global competitor, resulting in an eight-figure pre-trial settlement. 
  • Acting for major MDL corporate plaintiffs alleging price-fixing of primary aluminum by investment banks and global commodities interests, see In re Aluminum Warehousing Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 2481 (S.D.N.Y.). In that case, Mr. Brandt argued a successful appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on the legal issue of “antitrust injury,” a result for which he was honored as a Law360 “Legal Lion of the Week.” See Eastman Kodak Co., et al. v. Henry Bath LLC, et al., 936 F.3d 86 (2d Cir. 2019). 
  • Acting for employees of franchise-based restaurant chains challenging the wage-suppressive effect of employers’ agreement not to solicit or hire each other’s employees. Beginning in 2017, Mr. Brandt and MWA initiated and achieved early procedural successes in the first of these “no-poaching” suits addressing labor monopsony, a topic that labor economists, the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Law Section, and numerous federal and state regulators have come to regard as one of the hottest issues in antitrust law. Mr. Brandt and MWA have now been appointed or act as co-lead counsel in suits against some of America’s largest franchise restaurant chains. 
  • Acting for motorists challenging the constitutionality of the City of Chicago’s “red light camera” ticketing program before the Illinois Supreme Court. 
  • Acting for an investor pursuing a “double derivative” action in the Delaware Court of Chancery relating to the launch of commercial satellites in Russian-controlled geostationary orbital locations. That engagement resulted in a favorable ruling of first impression by the Delaware Supreme Court, sitting en banc
  • Acting for the Village of Roxana, Illinois and residents of the Village in litigation concerning a groundwater contamination plume emanating from one of the largest oil refineries in America. 

Mr. Brandt has also represented plaintiffs in False Claims Act “whistleblower” actions and in various litigations relating to consumer, commercial, and investment transactions. He has been named to the Illinois Super Lawyers list each year for the last decade, an honor reserved by Thomson Reuters for the top 5% of practitioners, based on peer nominations and its independent research. In 2020, Super Lawyers recognized him as one of the Top 100 attorneys in Illinois. He was separately honored for inclusion in the 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22 versions of Best Lawyers in America. 

Mr. Brandt is a 1992 graduate of DePauw University (B.A.), and a 1995 graduate of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law (J.D.). He practices from the firm’s Illinois office and is admitted to numerous federal trial and appellate courts nationwide.

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Did you work for a company who provided aerospace engineering work for Pratt & Whitney from 2011-2019?