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Suit Reveals Jimmy John's Insane Noncompete Clause

Basically bans ex-employees from working at any other restaurant for 2 years
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2014 8:51 AM CDT
Suit Reveals Jimmy John's Insane Noncompete Clause
A Jimmy John's store is shown in a YouTube screenshot.   (KTNV Channel 13 Action News)

(Newser) – As part of a proposed class-action lawsuit filed against sandwich chain Jimmy John's this summer, the employment agreement workers are made to sign has been revealed—and its noncompete clause is pretty crazy. Even low-wage sandwich makers and delivery drivers aren't exempt from the agreement, which the Huffington Post has in full. Among other things, it bars employees from working for "any business which derives more than 10% of its revenue from selling submarine, hero-type, deli-style, pita, and/or wrapped or rolled sandwiches" within 3 miles of any Jimmy John's ... for two years after leaving Jimmy John's. The two lawsuits against the company relate to accusations of wage theft, but one suit was amended last month with a mention of the "oppressive" agreement.

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On Jezebel, CA Pinkham calls the clause "utterly psychotic," noting "this has nothing to do with the divestment of company secrets and everything to do with putting workers in as desperate a situation as possible where they're terrified to lose or leave their jobs." The New York Times notes that the Huffington Post doesn't have proof that Jimmy John's has actually enforced the noncompete, and it points out that low-wage workers are increasingly being made to sign such agreements. As for the allegations of wage theft, as the Huffington Post explained in August, two employees say they were often forced to keep working after their managers clocked them out, because Jimmy John's stores are given payroll budgets that are too low. They want class-action status because they say the problem stems from "corporate set policies" that would apply to other employees. (Wage theft lawsuits are on the rise in the US.)

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