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Jimmy John's Job Application: Non-Compete Clause For Low-Income Workers

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches forces prospective new employees to sign a noncompete clause in their job application barring them from taking another low level job in the same field.
Jimmy John's Job Application: Non-Compete Clause For Low-Income Workers

In this day and age, nothing surprises me when it comes to corporate behavior towards workers. Most hard working folk are seeing their wages go down, hours go up, sick days declining and lunch breaks are an endangered species. Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches has been embroiled in worker rights fights for years now and apparently they have found a new disgusting angle to kick workers in the nuts with.

If you're considering working at a Jimmy John's sandwich shop, you may want to read the fine print on your job application.

A Jimmy John's employment agreement provided to The Huffington Post includes a "non-competition" clause that's surprising in its breadth. Noncompete agreements are typically reserved for managers or employees who could clearly exploit a business's inside information by jumping to a competitor. But at Jimmy John's, the agreement apparently applies to low-wage sandwich makers and delivery drivers, too.

By signing the covenant, the worker agrees not to work at one of the sandwich chain's competitors for a period of two years following employment at Jimmy John's. But the company's definition of a "competitor" goes far beyond the Subways and Potbellys of the world. It encompasses any business that's near a Jimmy John's location and that derives a mere 10 percent of its revenue from sandwiches.

From the agreement:

Employee covenants and agrees that, during his or her employment with the Employer and for a period of two (2) years after … he or she will not have any direct or indirect interest in or perform services for … any business which derives more than ten percent (10%) of its revenue from selling submarine, hero-type, deli-style, pita and/or wrapped or rolled sandwiches and which is located with three (3) miles of either [the Jimmy John's location in question] or any such other Jimmy John's Sandwich Shop.

It isn't clear what sort of trade secrets a low-wage sandwich artist might be privy to that would warrant such a contract. A Jimmy John's spokeswoman said the company wouldn't comment.

I'm sure there's valuable trade secrets in how Jimmy John's makes their sandwiches, right?


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Since there are obviously no trade secrets at stake here, this is clearly just punching employees. Let’s take the one thing we have trained this low-skill, low-wage workers at and make sure she can’t use it if she leaves it at one of our equally low-skill, low-wage competitors!

(h/t Atrios)

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