Jimmy Johns says it won’t require low-wage workers to sign non-competes.

In follow up to my post from a couple of weeks ago, the Chicago Sun Times is reporting that Jimmy John’s has agreed to stop forcing their low-wage workers to enter into non-compete agreements.  Jimmy John’s required all sandwich makers and freaky-fast delivery drivers to agree not to work for another nearby restaurant which derives at least 10% of its profits from sandwiches for two years after their departure.  This was a ridiculous limitation.  There is nothing secretive about sandwich making or delivering them freaky fast.

I wish I could say the company’s change of heart was because of my post but it doesn’t seem likely.  In this case it was pressure from both Illinois and New York Attorney Generals’ offices.  Both had filed suit against the Sandwich giant alleging, as Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said, that the non-compete agreements locked “low-wage workers into their jobs” by “prohibiting them from seeking better paying jobs elsewhere.  Madigan also said that because of these agreements, “companies have no reason to increase their wages or benefits.”  Amen, Lisa Madigan.

We hope that other companies (not just restaurants) look at the New York and Illinois lawsuits and think twice before doing this to their employees.  And good for Jimmy John’s for finally agreeing to set their employees free and abandon these silly agreements.