Good for her
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has claimed her company rebuffed Google's attempt to form a pact that would have suppressed engineers' salaries. According to her written testimony to a US court, obtained and published today by CNBC, Sandberg said she met Google executives who were – it is claimed – keen to stop …
I bet it went down like this...
Larry: If we ever get caught we need someone to say they refused to take part in order to discredit our accusers.
Sheryl: Me! Me! oh, pick ME!
Larry: Thanks, Sheryl. Here are the keys to a holiday "cottage" I never use. Oh, and what ever you do, don't be evil.
Bet this one gets booted out
Imagine you are an exec in a company in Silicon Valley competing to get good people to join your company. You know the local pool of talent is restricted. Regardless of the salary, there are just not enough good people. So you decide the better approach is to work harder recruiting people from other locations. Over lunch with fellow execs you talk about your plan to cast the search net wider and they agree its a good idea.
This reasonable action, indeed responsible action from a stockholders perspective will have the effect of controlling salaries and reducing the number of times employees of other companies are induced to change employment.
Given that every manager, since they were a junior, will have been lectured by HR about the legal landscape around employment (I can't imagine every employers HR department lectured only me) suggests that it's unlikely that any senior managers have been playing fast and loose with employment legislation. And these execs at major corporations have to check with their in-house council whether its OK to breathe.
Re: Bet this one gets booted out
quote: "And these execs at major corporations have to check with their in-house council whether its OK to breathe."
Although apparently not checking with counsel whether it's ok to update EULAs with unenforcable clauses, change privacy settings which would violate legislation in several countries, or indeed commit deliberate acts of price fixing (e.g. LCD displays, e-book pricing).
I've also seen several instances of constructive dismissal in my time, which is actually directly related to employment law and the violation thereof.
I don't think companies employ an in-house counsel for the same reasons you think they do, and I'm not sure that in-house counsels offer the same type of advice that you think they do either.