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Future binding non-compete agreements for low wage workers

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  • Future binding non-compete agreements for low wage workers

    Non-compete agreements are common for CEOs, to prevent competitors from immediately poaching them and sharing all their secrets. However, Jimmy John's also has them for their hourly workers; you cannot work for a competitor for two years after your employment ends. It seems unclear to me why they would be worried about one packing up and working for Subway, but the threat of litigation is enough that I wouldn't want to test it. Amazon had a similar policy for their warehouse workers but ended it after the media called attention to it.

    Legislation has been proposed to ban this practice for those making less than $15 an hour, arguing that it prevents labor mobility. Thoughts?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/0...ushpmg00000013
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

  • #2
    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
    Non-compete agreements are common for CEOs, to prevent competitors from immediately poaching them and sharing all their secrets. However, Jimmy John's also has them for their hourly workers; you cannot work for a competitor for two years after your employment ends. It seems unclear to me why they would be worried about one packing up and working for Subway, but the threat of litigation is enough that I wouldn't want to test it. Amazon had a similar policy for their warehouse workers but ended it after the media called attention to it.

    Legislation has been proposed to ban this practice for those making less than $15 an hour, arguing that it prevents labor mobility. Thoughts?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/0...ushpmg00000013
    Not sure if it's just in Texas, but I seem to remember from my Employment Law certification a few years ago that most non-competes have been held as unenforceable, since you cannot restrict a man (or woman) from earning a livelihood. Lemme double check that.

    ETA - here's one of the articles to which my curriculum refers.
    Last edited by Cow Poke; 06-05-2015, 03:10 PM.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    • #3
      It's insane. I get why they do it - even low wage employees learn a company's systems. Amazon makes its money more from its system than its products - hence the clause. JJ's does as well (they are rehashing Dominoes' successful effort from the Eighties - minus the litigation-provoking deadline).

      BUT a person's right to earn a living far outweighs a company's proprietary right to its system. If you wanna protect it, you might wanna work harder on retention - but the clause is silly and begging for bad PR.

      I won't be eating at Jimmy Johns. Pity, I'd wanted to try it since it just moved into our area. Oh well...

      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
        It's insane. I get why they do it - even low wage employees learn a company's systems. Amazon makes its money more from its system than its products - hence the clause. JJ's does as well (they are rehashing Dominoes' successful effort from the Eighties - minus the litigation-provoking deadline).

        BUT a person's right to earn a living far outweighs a company's proprietary right to its system. If you wanna protect it, you might wanna work harder on retention - but the clause is silly and begging for bad PR.

        I won't be eating at Jimmy Johns. Pity, I'd wanted to try it since it just moved into our area. Oh well...
        You're not missing anything IMHO...personally, I like Subway much better, my current favorite though is Firehouse Subs...but they are a little pricier.
        "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

        "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
          Not sure if it's just in Texas, but I seem to remember from my Employment Law certification a few years ago that most non-competes have been held as unenforceable, since you cannot restrict a man (or woman) from earning a livelihood. Lemme double check that.

          ETA - here's one of the articles to which my curriculum refers.
          I had signed a non-compete way back in 1990. When I was being courted by another company, I had a lawyer look at it. He told me as an non-exempt employee, it wasn't worth the paper it was printed on.
          "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

          "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
            I had signed a non-compete way back in 1990. When I was being courted by another company, I had a lawyer look at it. He told me as an non-exempt employee, it wasn't worth the paper it was printed on.
            It's kinda like signing a "release" that says you, as a parent, won't sue the Church if your kid gets into an accident on the bus. It's only a "feel good" contract, and will maybe "bluff" somebody into not suing.
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
              You're not missing anything IMHO...personally, I like Subway much better, my current favorite though is Firehouse Subs...but they are a little pricier.
              Agree, it's not that good. The bread is okay though.
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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