You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Business

Class action denied in tech workers’ lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Friday struck down an effort to form a class action lawsuit to go after Apple, Google, and five other technology companies for allegedly forming an illegal cartel to tamp down workers’ wages and prevent the loss of their best engineers during a multiyear conspiracy broken up by government regulators.

US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif., issued a ruling Friday concluding that the companies’ alleged collusion may have affected workers in too many different ways to justify lumping the individual claims together. She denied the request to certify workers’ lawsuits as a class action and collectively seek damages on behalf of tens of thousands of employees.

Continue reading below

The allegations will be more difficult to pursue if they can’t be united in a single lawsuit. Koh, though, will allow the workers’ lawyers to submit additional evidence that they have been collecting to persuade her that the lawsuit still merits class certification.

Apple Inc., Google Inc., and the other companies targeted in the lawsuit have been vigorously fighting the allegations.

More is at stake than potentially paying out significant damages to more than 100,000 workers. If the lawsuit proceeds, it could also expose secret discussions among prominent technology executives who entered into a ‘‘gentlemen’s agreement’’ not to poach employees working at their respective companies.

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week