July 1, 2022

Volume XII, Number 182

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Antitrust Enforcers Continue March to Protect Labor Markets in Health Care and Other Industries

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.

©2022 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 41
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About this Author

John Steren, Epstein Becker Law Firm, Health Care Litigation Attorney
Member

E. John Steren is a Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences and Litigation & Business Disputes practices, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green. Mr. Steren devotes a significant portion of his practice to helping health care organizations manage the antitrust risks of joint ventures and other business arrangements. He also focuses his practice on other complex commercial and civil litigation matters.

202-861-1825
Patricia M. Wagner, Epstein becker green, health care, life sciences
Member

PATRICIA M. WAGNER is a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Litigation practices, in the firm's Washington, DC, office. In 2014, Ms. Wagner was selected to the Washington DC Super Lawyers list in the area of Health Care.

Ms. Wagner's experience includes the following:

Advising clients on a variety of matters related to federal and state antitrust issues 

Representing clients in antitrust matters in front of the Federal Trade Commission and the United States Department of...

202-861-4182
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