Keller Postman Files Class Action Broadening Previous Challenges to Illegal No-Poach Agreement Among Engineering Suppliers
Firm’s independent investigation unearths new party involved in no-poach conspiracy
National plaintiffs’ law firm Keller Postman LLC today filed an amended class action complaint challenging an illegal conspiracy among two of Raytheon Technologies’ operating units—Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace—and several outsource engineering suppliers that suppressed the job mobility and compensation of plaintiff Matthew Cydylo and other putative class members. The filing is an expansion of the original complaint against Pratt & Whitney and the suppliers, after Keller Postman’s further investigation revealed information to support allegations that Collins Aerospace was also involved in the illegal practices.
The complaint alleges that the defendants entered into an illegal no-poach agreement that restricted the hiring and recruiting of engineers and other skilled laborers working on aerospace projects.
In December 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted six executives from the various defendants—except Collins Aerospace—citing Pratt & Whitney’s role in the illegal no-poach agreement. Through Keller Postman’s independent investigation, attorneys learned that the wrongdoing alleged in the DOJ indictment and Keller Postman’s initial complaint is even broader than previously disclosed, leading to the allegations against Collins Aerospace.
From as early as 2011 until at least 2019, the defendants allegedly maintained an expansive no-poach agreement that affected engineers employed by, or working as independent contractors for, the defendants; it reached those who worked on Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace projects and statements of work throughout the United States and its territories. The no-poach agreement allegedly was made and enforced privately and confidentially among executives at the highest levels of the defendant organizations, who successfully concealed it, and its implications, from Mr. Cydylo and putative class members. Without the DOJ’s criminal investigation and subsequent indictments—and Keller Postman’s independent investigation—the existence of the no-poach agreement would likely have remained permanently hidden.
“The defendants entered into this conspiracy with complete disregard for the impact it would have on their employees, their careers, and their livelihoods. The only concern was for their bottom line and avoiding disruption to their workforce,” said Jason Zweig, Partner at Keller Postman. “After the Department of Justice’s appalling revelations, we filed suit with the intention of recovering losses for the many engineers affected by this agreement, but we knew that we couldn’t stop there. After a rigorous investigation, we look forward to ensuring Collins Aerospace is also held accountable for its role in this misconduct.”
Led by Zweig and Keller Postman Partner Zina Bash, the suit seeks damages and injunctive relief under the antitrust laws of the United States. As a direct result of the defendants’ illegal no-poach agreement, members of the class have suffered injury and have been deprived of the benefits of free and fair competition for their labor on the merits.
In addition to Raytheon Technologies Corporation’s Pratt & Whitney Division and Collins Aerospace Division, defendants in the litigation are QuEST Global Services-NA, Inc., Belcan Engineering Group, LLC, Cyient, Inc., Agilis Engineering, Inc., Parametric Solutions, Inc., and Mahesh Patel, Robert Harvey, Harpreet Wasan, Steve Houghtaling, Thomas Edwards, Gary Prus, and Frank O’Neill, and Does 1-10.
The Keller Postman legal team includes Partners Jason Zweig and Zina Bash, along with co-counsel Daniel Krisch of Halloran Sage LLP.
The action is Matthew Cydylo v. Agilis Engineering, et al., No. 21-cv-01730, and is filed in the United States District Court of Connecticut.
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*As of April 2022, the firm has changed its name from Keller Lenkner to Keller Postman.