A123 Systems is suing Apple for poaching their employees out of the company’s battery engineering department, where the company has lost a number of employees to the tech giant.
A123 is suing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for poaching its employees, according to filings by the company and lawyers. The company is alleging that Apple was poaching employees from their auto division, in order to develop a battery division themselves. Ultimately, the poaching of employees, its argued, is to continue this push toward Apple getting into the automotive industry. This though isn’t the first time that someone has mentioned, or even considered bringing legal action to the company, who only recently noted that they would develop a car. Previously, Tesla was the company that was being poached, and in return – Apple contested that many employees from their own company were being poached to go to Tesla.
While much of this might seem a bit counterproductive, as it relates to giving employees better opportunities with new companies, this is something that has always plagued the workforce at these levels. It is being alleged that the poaching of employees began in June of 2014 and had continued on for months following. The lawsuit reads, “Apple is currently developing a large-scale battery division to compete in the very same field as A123.”
As if that is not enough though, A123 is also suing a number of former employees, which is both baffling and stunning in a lot of ways. Previously, we have seen companies take out their frustration with fluttering employees by suing each other – but rarely do we see that litigation make its way to suing the employee as well. However, if there are non-compete clauses in their contracts – and Apple is putting together this so-called battery division – then that would definitely incriminate those individuals to a certain degree.
The lawsuit goes on to note that, “It appears that Apple, with the assistance of defendant Ijaz, is systematically hiring away A123’s high-tech PhD and engineering employees, thereby effectively shutting down various projects/programs at A123.” However, this is something that will not be getting resolved in the very near-future and is a fight that will probably go on for months, if not years before being fully resolved. In fact, it might not be ridiculous to say that at this point, we could see an Apple car before we see a resolution to this lawsuit, since these types of suits often take a long period to process and go through.