Conspiracy Aimed At Suppressing Pay For Essential Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic
The U.S. Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury in Portland, 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 essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the one-count felony indictment filed on January 27, 2022 in United States District Court for the District of Maine, four Portland residents, Faysal Kalayaf Manahe; Yaser Aali; Ammar Alkinani; and Quasim Saesah, all owners and/or managers of home health care agencies, conspired to eliminate competition for the services of Personal Support Specialist (“PSS”) workers by agreeing to fix the rates paid to these workers and by agreeing not to hire each other’s workers.
The indictment is the first in an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into wage fixing and worker allocation schemes in the PSS home health care industry.
Antitrust Enforcement & Civil Lawsuits
The goal of the antitrust laws, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, is to protect economic freedom and opportunity by promoting free and fair competition in the marketplace. Competition in a free market benefits American consumers through lower prices, better quality and greater choice. Competition provides businesses the opportunity to compete on price and quality, in an open market and on a level playing field, unhampered by anticompetitive restraints.
Federal antitrust laws apply to virtually all industries and to every level of business, including manufacturing, transportation, distribution, and marketing. The antitrust laws prohibit a variety of practices that restrain trade, such as price-fixing conspiracies, corporate mergers likely to reduce the competitive vigor of particular markets, and predatory acts designed to achieve or maintain monopoly power.
There are three main ways in which the Federal antitrust laws are enforced: criminal and civil enforcement actions brought by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice; civil enforcement actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission; and lawsuits brought by private parties asserting damage claims.
Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. investigates and prosecutes class action antitrust matters to recover damages on behalf of businesses, distributors, wholesalers, employees, and consumers who may have been harmed by illegal monopolies; unlawful no-poach and wage-fixing agreements between employers; corporate cartels or other anticompetitive conduct or arrangements, such as price fixing, bid rigging, and agreements to allocate (“divide up”) customers to reduce or eliminate competition.
INDIVIDUALS OR BUSINESSES WHO BELIEVE THEY HAVE BEEN HARMED BY ANTICOMPETITIVE CONDUCT ARE ENCOURAGED TO COMPLETE THE FORM ABOVE ON THE RIGHT OR CONTACT JOHN KEHOE, ESQ., (215) 792-6676, EXT. 801, [email protected], [email protected], FOR A FREE, NO-OBLIGATION EVALUATION OF POTENTIAL LEGAL CLAIMS.