On January 28, 2022, a federal grand jury in Maine returned an indictment charging four managers of home health care agencies with participating in a conspiracy to suppress the wages and restrict the job mobility of Personal Support Specialist workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This follows on the heels of separately issued indictments attacking similar conduct among individuals and entities operating ambulatory surgical and dialysis centers.

While the aggressive nature of these enforcement efforts may seem unprecedented, the federal antitrust enforcement agencies had foreshadowed these indictments. In October 2016, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jointly published their Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals, making clear that protecting competition in labor markets was a top priority. Among other things, the federal antitrust agencies announced that “[g]oing forward, the DOJ intends to proceed criminally against naked wage fixing or no poach agreements [i.e., agreements not to hire a competitor’s employees].” More recently, the DOJ and FTC have collaborated on workshops addressing competition in labor markets, and now routinely look at the potential effects on labor markets of mergers and acquisitions that come to their attention through the Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger notification process.

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.