Generally, a company will have its upper management employees sign a non-compete agreement, but will not require the same of lower level employees. However, the sandwich chain Jimmy John’s has decided to go its own direction with its non-compete agreement, which has caused some controversy.
New hires, whether they are an executive or a sandwich maker, may be required to sign the company’s non-compete policy. This move by the company has caused a response by at least one worker in the form of a lawsuit.
Why is Jimmy John’s Non-Compete Policy Under Fire?
The disgruntled employee is taking Jimmy John’s to court, because she claims that the non-compete agreement is too broad and too harsh, as it prohibits an employee from working at another sandwich shop, like Subway, for a period of two years. Additionally, an employee cannot work at any business within three miles of a Jimmy John’s that makes at least 10 percent of its money from sandwiches. This poses a difficulty for anyone in the company wishing to use their experience.
This is not the first time this non-compete agreement has been attacked. Last summer, this policy played a part in a class action lawsuit against Jimmy John’s.
Opponents of the non-compete agreement have calculated that 6,000 square miles in 44 of the 50 states must be avoided by current employees seeking work within the two year period set by Jimmy John’s policy.
It is yet to be determined if the Jimmy John’s non-compete agreement will stand or not.
Are There Limitations to a Non-Compete Agreement?
Non-compete agreements cannot restrict former employees from using their own resources and ideas for their own economic gain, including starting a business.
[Did You Know? The 1711 case Mitchel v. Reynolds set the framework for enforcing non-compete agreements.]
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