The Joseph Saveri Law Firm, one of the country’s leading antitrust firms, filed a class action complaint Friday against Pratt & Whitney and other aerospace companies, alleging those companies entered and maintained no-poach hiring agreements for nearly a decade, if not longer. Pratt & Whitney is a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies Corporation.

No-poach agreements are agreements between otherwise competing employers not to recruit or hire one another’s employees. No-poach agreements are usually kept secret, creating information imbalance, and preventing employees from negotiating higher salaries and more favorable employment terms. For these reasons and others, no-poach agreements are inherently illegal under United States antitrust laws. They are detrimental to labor markets as they suppress employee compensation and reduce job mobility for workers.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Connecticut on behalf of an engineer formerly employed by QuEST Global Services, an aerospace company also named as a co-conspirator. Along with Pratt & Whitney, the other defendant aerospace companies include Belcan LLC; Cyient, Inc.; Parametric Solutions, Inc.; and Agilis Engineering Inc. Each of these entities supply skilled laborers to Pratt & Whitney for aerospace projects. Also named as defendants are high-level executives who directly participated in the anticompetitive scheme.

“The aerospace industry is essential to the local and national economy, and to the security of our nation and the safety of its citizens. This industry’s labor market must be fair and competitive for workers who form the backbone of such an important sector of American society,” said the plaintiff engineer’s attorney, Joseph Saveri. “When aerospace companies engage in these unlawful agreements, they suppress wages across the entire industry. This case’s facts clearly indicate these companies intended to do just that. Instead of competing with other firms to retain employees by offering higher wages and better benefits, they denied their employees opportunities for career advancement and compensation for the true value of their skills. We are committed to bringing this crucial case to a successful conclusion and deterring similar illegal conduct throughout the aerospace industry. Its employees deserve nothing less.”

The Department of Justice recently unsealed a criminal complaint that accused a former Pratt & Whitney executive of participating in a long-running conspiracy with managers and executives at the other defendant aerospace companies, with the goal of restricting the hiring and recruiting of engineers and other skilled laborers. To date, six individuals have been indicted for their roles in the conspiracy. The aerospace industry is a growth market in the United States, employing roughly 2 million people or about 1.4% of the US labor force. These agreements as alleged harmed this industry and the millions of people working in it.

Through this lawsuit—Doe v. Raytheon Technology Corp. et al., No. 22-cv-00035 (D. Conn.)—plaintiffs seek treble damages and injunctive relief for the employees harmed by defendants’ alleged unlawful no-poach agreements. For more information on the case, please see the firm’s case page.