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Office of the
Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

Illinois Attorney General Logo


January 19, 2024

Chicago – The Illinois Supreme Court today issued a ruling in Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s lawsuit against Elite Staffing Inc. (Elite), Metro Staff Inc. (Metro Staff), and Midway Staffing Inc. (Midway). Agreeing with Raoul, the court ruled that the Illinois Antitrust Act does not exempt Illinois labor markets from antitrust scrutiny.

“The Illinois Supreme Court has confirmed that Illinois’ Antitrust Act prohibits agreements among employers to restrict worker mobility and fix wages,” Raoul said. “I am pleased with this important result. My office will continue to enforce Illinois’ statutes to protect the rights of workers to seek better employment opportunities, wages and benefits, which allow them to support themselves and their families.”

The matter stemmed from a 2020 complaint Raoul’s office filed against the three staffing agencies and their mutual client, Colony Display LLC. The complaint alleged the staffing agencies formed unlawful agreements to refuse to solicit or hire each other’s employees and to fix the wages paid to employees. Raoul’s lawsuit also alleged that Colony facilitated the unlawful agreements by acting as an intermediary between the parties to communicate about the agreements and assist in enforcing them. In November 2023, the Attorney General’s office settled its claims against Colony.

“The alleged agreement falls squarely within the realm of conduct so clearly anticompetitive that it violates antitrust laws without further examination under the rule of reason,” the ruling said of the no-poach and wage-fixing agreements at issue in the case.

According to the Supreme Court’s ruling, the legislators who passed the state’s antitrust law did not intend to allow employers to enter into agreements that keep wages lower and prevent workers from switching jobs.

As a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the case now returns to the Circuit Court of Cook County where the litigation will continue against the three remaining defendants.   

Attorney General Raoul encourages workers who believe their rights have been violated to call his Workplace Rights Hotline at 1-844-740-5076.

The case is being handled by Bureau Chief Elizabeth Maxeiner and Assistant Attorney General Paul Harper in Raoul’s Antitrust Bureau, Bureau Chief Alvar Ayala in Raoul’s Workplace Rights Bureau, and Supervising Attorney Christopher Turner in Raoul’s Civil Appeals Division.