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Jimmy John’s Sued for Imposing Restrictive Non-Compete Agreements
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A Jimmy John’s storefront. Photo courtesy of Arlnow.

Summary: The Illinois Attorney General is suing Jimmy John’s for making low-wage employees sign non-compete agreements.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan isn’t a fan of Jimmy John’s. At least not their business practices. On Wednesday, she filed a lawsuit against the corporate office for allegedly forcing unfair non-compete agreements on all employees, including low-wage sandwich makers and delivery drivers.


ABC 7 reports that Jimmy John’s requires workers to sign a restrictive non-compete clause as a condition of employment. This agreement restricts them from working at another sandwich shop during and two years after their employment. The terms outline that employees cannot work at sandwich stores within two or three miles of any Jimmy John’s stores nationwide. In Illinois alone, there are 300 locations.

“Preventing employees from seeking employment with a competitor is unfair to Illinois workers and bad for Illinois businesses,” Madigan said in a statement. “By locking low-wage workers into their jobs and prohibiting them from seeking better paying jobs elsewhere, the companies have no reason to increase their wages or benefits.”

AG Madigan said the non-compete is illegal and unenforceable in Illinois. She is seeking a judgment that declares the agreements void and rescinded. In response to the lawsuit, Jimmy John’s stated that they have never enforced their non-compete clause.

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“We were disappointed to learn of the Illinois Attorney General’s filing this afternoon,” Jimmy John’s said in a statement. “The Attorney General’s Office approached us in September 2015 to discuss concerns that it had about the use of non-compete agreements in Jimmy John’s stores, and we were nothing but cooperative and transparent throughout the process.”

Jimmy John’s stated that after their 2015 meeting they offered to have the CEO sign a declaration of voidance of the non-compete clause and that those agreements had been removed from new hire paperwork. They stated that any recent non-compete clauses given were administrative errors.

What do you think about non-compete agreements? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: ABC 7


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