An In-depth Look at the Smoothstack Lawsuit: Latest Developments

Smoothstack Lawsuit, a prominent player in the realm of tech training and staffing, has recently found itself embroiled in a lawsuit that’s sending shockwaves throughout the industry. This article seeks to shed light on the dispute, delving into the allegations, exploring the contentious issue of Training Repayment Agreement Provisions (TRAPs), and bringing you up-to-date with the latest developments.

A Glimpse into Smoothstack Lawsuit Operations

Smoothstack Lawsuit has made a name for itself in the IT sector by grooming individuals eager to kickstart a career in this field and staffing them in leading tech companies. They’ve managed to secure a strong foothold in the market, boasting a clientele that includes Fortune 500 companies like Accenture, Bloomberg, Capital One, Johnson & Johnson, Morgan Stanley, and Verizon.

Their business model revolves around offering an extensive training program, followed by placement opportunities with their clients. They’ve also recently bagged a hefty $80 million subcontract from Accenture to assist the latter’s project for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid.

However, it’s their contentious TRAP that has landed them in hot waters.

Understanding the TRAP Controversy

A TRAP, as defined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is a kind of liquidated damages provision. It essentially binds the worker to their employer by requiring them to pay for the training expenses should they decide to leave before a certain period.

According to research, nearly 10% of American workers are bound by a TRAP. The FTC has estimated that abolishing these restrictive covenants could potentially boost American workers’ earnings between $250 billion and $296 billion per annum.

The FTC has been making strides towards banning these covenants, as have state lawmakers in Pennsylvania and California. However, Smoothstack’s TRAP, as alleged in the lawsuit, imposes a penalty of over $20,000 on tech workers who fail to complete a compulsory minimum billable hour requirement before exiting the program.

Unraveling the Smoothstack Lawsuit

Launched in April 2023, the Smoothstack lawsuit centers around a class action filed by Justin O’Brien, a former Smoothstack trainee and consultant. The lawsuit is currently in its initial stages, with the plaintiff seeking to invalidate the TRAPs that Smoothstack employees are obliged to sign, in addition to recovering damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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The Lawsuit’s Allegations

The lawsuit accuses Smoothstack of not compensating its workers adequately during the training period, which is claimed to be strenuous and long. Allegedly, trainees work up to 80 hours per week or more, with no payment during the first three weeks and minimum wage for a maximum of 40 hours per week thereafter.

Post-training, the recruits are promoted to consultants, yet they remain bound by the TRAPs. The lawsuit claims that the TRAPs are presented on a “take-it-or-leave-it basis,” which essentially forces the employees to stay with Smoothstack due to the steep penalty for leaving before completing 4,000 hours of billable client work.

The Legal Proceedings

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys from the Student Borrower Protection Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans.

In May 2023, the plaintiff agreed to drop three claims from the lawsuit. In exchange, Smoothstack waived the 4,000-hour requirement for Mr. O’Brien. Subsequently, Smoothstack filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, to which the plaintiff responded with an amended complaint. The hearing regarding the motion to dismiss was set for August 2, 2023.

Should the lawsuit survive this motion, it will likely lead to more legal battles, such as arguments over class certification. Alternatively, it may end in a settlement, which, according to statistics, is the most common outcome for lawsuits in the U.S.

The Smoothstack Lawsuit: Where We Stand Now

As of now, the lawsuit is still in progress, with both parties awaiting the court’s decision on the motion to dismiss. We’ll continue to closely monitor this case and bring you the most recent updates as they unfold.

By dissecting the complexities surrounding the Smoothstack lawsuit, we hope to have provided you with a comprehensive understanding of the case. As the story continues to develop, its outcomes are sure to have far-reaching implications on employment contracts and practices in the tech industry.


Allen holds a Master's degree in English Literature and boasts seven years of experience as a content writer. Specializing in Entertainment, Sports, and the latest news, he excels in crafting compelling narratives that captivate audiences. Allen's expertise in language and storytelling ensures that his content is both informative and engaging.

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