Magistrate Judge Leda Wettre of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey entered a Case Management Order appointing the Joseph Saveri Law Firm as Interim Co-Lead Counsel for the proposed Plaintiff Class.
The Joseph Saveri Law Firm is Interim Co-Lead Counsel on behalf of Plaintiffs Jessica Robinson, Carson Newbauer, and Nicole Gibson in an antitrust class action against Defendants Jackson Hewitt, Inc. and Tax Services of America, Inc. Plaintiffs are individuals who work or have worked for Jackson Hewitt, a tax preparation services provider and franchisor, and for franchise locations of Jackson Hewitt. Jackson Hewitt is the second largest consumer tax services provider in the United States and provides tax preparation and assistance services at physical offices, online, and via desktop and mobile applications. It provides in-person tax preparation services at nearly 6,000 U.S. offices, approximately 3,900 of which are franchise locations and 1,800 are corporate-owned. Under Jackson Hewitt’s franchise model, franchisees compete with each other and with company-owned locations.
Beginning no later than January 2000 through at least December 20, 2018, Defendants and other co-conspirators allegedly engaged in a conspiracy to not compete for employees and potential employees, including agreements not to solicit, recruit, or hire without prior approval each other’s personnel. Defendants allegedly orchestrated, dispersed, and enforced the agreement among themselves and all franchisees, including at least in part through an explicit contractual prohibition (“No-Poach Clause”), as well as a penalty provision that imposed a severe monetary penalty, equal to 300% of the annual salary of the employee recruited or hired in violation of the No-Poach Clause, that were contained in standard Jackson Hewitt franchise agreements.
This behavior limited and suppressed mobility and compensation for all Class members, regardless of whether they tried to be recruited or hired by another Jackson Hewitt corporate or franchise location.
Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief and recovery of damages, including treble damages, costs of suit, and reasonable attorneys’ fees arising from Defendants’ violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1.
May 7, 2019