First Criminal Trials Over Wage-Fixing, Hiring Practices End in Loss for Justice Department

Juries in Texas and Colorado this week turned back the Justice Department’s efforts to prosecute corporate defendants accused of colluding to restrict workers pay and mobility, dealing a blow to efforts to punish practices that it says harm workers.

Dialysis provider DaVita and its former chief executive officer, Kent Thiry, were acquitted Friday in Denver on three counts of conspiring with other companies to not recruit each other’s senior-level employees. Separately on Thursday, a Texas jury acquitted the former owner and clinical director of a home-health staffing company of conspiring with rivals to reduce their contractors’ pay.

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