Case Details

Year Initiated/Committed


Settlement Amount



Circuit Court for Cook County, Illinois

Lead State


Participating States



Elite Staffing, Inc.; Metro Staff, Inc.; Midway Staffing, Inc.; Colony, Inc.

Case Description

Plaintiff state sued staffing agencies Elite Staffing, Inc. (Elite), Metro Staff, Inc. (Metro) and Midway Staffing, Inc. (Midway), as well as their client Colony, Inc. (Colony). The complaint alleged that the three staffing agencies formed an unlawful agreement to refuse to solicit or hire the other’s employees and to fix the wages paid to their employees. Colony allegedly facilitated the agreement by acting as a go-between to communicate about the agreement and assist in enforcing the no-poach agreement. Elite, Metro Staff and Midway are temporary staffing agencies that compete with one another to recruit, select and hire employees to work at third-party client locations on a temporary basis. All three agencies provide temporary employees to complete light industrial work at Colony’s facilities in Elgin, Ill. and St. Charles, Ill. Beginning at least as early as March 2018, Elite, Midway and Metro Staff allegedly agreed to not hire, recruit, solicit, or poach temporary workers from each other at Colony locations to restrict competition between the agencies, which would have benefitted temporary employees. The agencies agreed to fix employees’ wages to a below-market wage, as requested by Colony, to further inhibit competition. Additionally, the agencies agreed that they would not offer employees employed by another agency better wages or benefits. If a temporary worker did switch to another agency at the Colony location and the switch was noticed by another agency or Colony, the temporary worker would be returned to his or her original agency. Raoul’s complaint alleges that Colony helped enforce the agreement between the agencies by notifying each agency if one deviated from the agreement. The state alleged that the staffing agencies eliminated competition and harmed temporary workers in Illinois by interfering with their ability to seek better employment opportunities and better wages and benefits. The state sought injunctive relief, civil penalties and damages.

The staffing agencies argued that Illinois’ antitrust law did not apply to employment.  In a landmark decision interpreting Illinois antitrust law, the Illinois Supreme Court found the definition of “service” under the state’s antitrust law does not exclude all labor services from its scope, and that multiemployer agreements concerning wages and whether to hire each other’s workers may violate the law unless such a deal arises as part of a collective bargaining process with union representatives and the multiemployer unit. The case was remanded for trial.