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January 10, 2022

Pratt, other aerospace firms facing class action lawsuit over alleged ‘no poaching’ scheme

Photo | Pixabay

East Hartford-based jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney has been hit with a class action lawsuit alleging the company engaged in a “no poaching” conspiracy in an attempt to keep labor costs in check.

In a statement, the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, headquartered in San Francisco, said it is representing an engineer formerly employed by QuEST Global Services, an aerospace product engineering company also named in the lawsuit alongside Pratt, Belcan LLC, Cyient Inc., Parametric Solutions Inc. and Agilis Engineering Inc. Each of those companies supply highly skilled workers to Pratt for aerospace projects, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Connecticut on the engineer’s behalf.

Attorneys with Saveri said the named defendants secretly agreed not to hire or recruit each other’s employees, which had the effect of limiting workers’ potential earnings and career opportunities.

“When aerospace companies engage in these unlawful agreements, they suppress wages across the entire industry,” said Joseph Saveri. “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.”

Representatives for Pratt & Whitney did not immediately return a message seeking comment on the lawsuit Monday morning.

The new civil case comes about one month after a former outsourcing manager at Pratt, Mahesh Patel, was charged with “conspiracy in restraint of trade” by the U.S. Justice Department. Patel is accused of enforcing a similar “no poaching” agreement among aerospace companies and suppliers, allegedly “berating” those who cheated on the secret agreement by recruiting workers from each others’ firms.

In mid-December, five alleged co-conspirators were also charged, including three men from Connecticut.

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