It's very common for companies to have executives sign non-compete clauses. They don't want any trade secrets or inside information passed along or want to ensure that their high-level employees have reason to stick around. So, it's not shocking that Jimmy John's, the fast-food sandwich company, would have non-compete clauses.
What is bizarre is that they have them for their sandwich makers.
And delivery drivers.
And what is even more bizarre is how incredibly draconian and deeply protective these non-competition contracts are to supposedly protect the company.
Take a look at what the contract says --
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.
In other words, if you have a job making sandwiches or just delivering them, or you're hired to mop up at a Jimmy John's anywhere in the United States, and you move -- anywhere in the United States -- then for the next two years you can't work at any business within three miles of any Jimmy John's (there are 2,000 of them) that gets even just a small portion of its income from making sandwiches.
Now, the thing is, if someone did get another job, it's not likely that Jimmy John's would a) know about it, and b) take a person to court. And if the company did take someone to court, it's not likely that they would win because they'd have to show how making a chicken breast sandwich at Jimmy John's is such a protective service of inside information that it being divulged would harm the company. Or that the knowledge of how to drive sandwiches on a delivery is so central to the secret corporate operation of Jimmy John's that the company would face collapse if it ever got out.
But man, how heavy-handed do you have to be to even want to include that clause in your contract for a low-wage employee?? How much do you want to scare and threaten high-school kids or college students who just want to scrape by with a part-time job?
It will not shock you to learn that there is a class-action lawsuit against Jimmy John's.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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