Have you worked as a naval architect and/or marine engineer at any time since Jan. 1, 2000? Your wages were likely lower due to a wage-fixing conspiracy among the biggest private contractors and consulting firms hired by the federal government. Fill out the form to find out your rights »
WHAT’S THE ISSUE?
Hagens Berman has filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit against a group of shipbuilders, specialized engineering consultancies and a recruitment agency, alleging the companies colluded in a years-long wage-fixing, no-hire agreement causing naval architects and marine engineers to receive far less for their work than legally owed. The lawsuit brings antitrust claims for the alleged use of industry dominance to unlawfully deprive thousands of workers of hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation via naked “no-poach” agreements.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M AFFECTED?
The class-action lawsuit has been filed against the only two shipyard operators in the country which build large military vessels, shipyard operators which build smaller ships and the engineering consultancies which design, refit and maintain nearly every ship in the U.S. fleet. If you have worked for one of the following companies in the capacity of marine engineer or naval architect, you may be affected. Contact our attorneys today »
Companies named in the complaint include:
- Bath Iron Works Corp.
- BMT International, Inc.
- Bollinger Shipyards, LLC
- CACI International, Inc.
- The Columbia Group, Inc.
- Electric Boat Corp.
- Faststream Rectruictment, LTD
- General Dynamics Corp.
- Gibbs & Cox, Inc.
- General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc.
- HII Fleet Support Group, LLC
- HII Mission Technologies Corp.
- Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.
- Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc.
- Marinette Shipyards, LLC
- Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co.
- Serco, Inc.
- Technology Financing, Inc.
- Thor Solutions, LLC
- Tridentis, LLC
NAVAL ARCHITECT AND MARINE ENGINEER WAGE-FIXING EXPLAINED
According to the lawsuit, starting in 2000, and likely dating back to the 1980s, the shipyard operators and engineering consultancies implicated in the case adhered to an informal, self-proclaimed “gentleman’s agreement” not to recruit or “poach” each other’s naval engineers. The suit states that managers with hiring authority at the defendant companies have repeatedly and independently confirmed the existence of this industry-wide “gentleman’s agreement,” using those words. Every defendant in this case has been tied to the no-poach agreement by at least one witness.
This alleged ubiquitous no-poach agreement between companies that collectively dominate the shipbuilding industry resulted in naval architects and marine engineers — highly skilled workers who must meet a host of specialized requirements — earning salaries and compensation well below those of engineers with similar degrees of training and expertise in other industries. The lawsuit claims that in a competitive labor market, this conspiracy would not exist, and defendants have illegally stifled competition for talented engineers and suppressed their compensation.
HOW SHIPBUILDERS AND RECRUITERS ALLEGEDLY TRIED TO COVER UP THIS “GENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT”
According to the complaint, defendants deliberately kept this industry-wide no-poach agreement out of writing to fraudulently conceal their illegal conduct. The lawsuit alleges defendants entered explicit written agreements not to recruit from rivals when working on the same project, and the companies used these “teaming agreements” to cover up their unlawful “gentleman’s agreement” with more credibly defensible project-based limitations on recruiting naval architects and marine engineers.
The lawsuit brings claims of conspiracy to depress compensation in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and seeks monetary relief on behalf of the thousands of naval architects and marine engineers impacted by the defendants’ alleged unlawful conspiracy.
YOUR RIGHTS AS A NAVAL ARCHITECT AND/OR MARINE ENGINEER
Hagens Berman believes naval architects and marine engineers have been cheated out of their rightful wages through this decades-long “gentleman’s agreement,” and we intend to fight to recover losses. When employers cooperate to stifle employee pay for the sake of their profits, workers always lose. Under federal antitrust law, the Sherman Act, employee wages are protected.
TOP EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS AND ANTITRUST FIRM
Hagens Berman is one of the most successful employment and antitrust litigation law firms in the U.S. and has achieved more than $320 billion in settlements for individuals in lawsuits against employers. Hagens Berman has achieved many monumental victories in antitrust lawsuits, including a settlement valued at more than $195 million for poultry plant workers impacted by an alleged wage-fixing conspiracy. The firm is currently pursuing similar litigation against the companies that dominate the aerospace industry for allegedly suppressing the wages of aerospace engineers and other skilled workers. Your claim will be handled by attorneys experienced in employment and antitrust law.
NO COST TO YOU
There is no cost or fee whatsoever involved in joining this investigation. In the event Hagens Berman or any other firm obtains a settlement that provides benefits to class members, the court will decide a reasonable fee to be awarded to the class's legal team. In no case will any class member ever be asked to pay any out-of-pocket sum.