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Jimmy John's - Slavery In The Form of A Sammich

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posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 06:34 AM
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Hello once again ATS!

Once in awhile something comes across my news feeds that leaves me with my mouth agape, draw dropped and scrambling for verification because it seems so out of place that it has to be absolute BS.

Today such an event happened.

I was sitting here, minding my own business, when a snippet passed by my Facebook feed. A snippet that immediately led to me seeking out verification. Verification that I quickly found.

Long story short: Jimmy John's - a sandwich shop chain that pays a starting wage of $7.89 per hour has, included in their employee agreement, A TWO YEAR NO COMPETE CLAUSE!


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.


Copy of Agreement
Source
Original Source

While "no compete" clauses are common in things like high tech jobs and professional sports. To place such restrictions on barely above minimum wage sammich making jobs??? What the Hell man?

Especially from a company that is already facing allegations of systematic wage theft by making workers work off of the clock.

It seems that Jimmy John's targets college towns as it's preferred area of operations. College towns where many students have to struggle to work their way through school doing menial jobs - like, for example, MAKING SANDWICHES.


Kathleen Chavez, the lawyer handling the case, told HuffPost in an email that her two clients named in the complaint were required to sign the agreement as a condition of employment; one is an assistant store manager, the other a former delivery driver and assistant store manager. Chavez argued that, if enforced, the clause would dramatically limit the places a worker could earn a paycheck following a stint at Jimmy John's.

Chavez said the effective blackout area for a former Jimmy John's worker would cover 6,000 square miles in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Founded in 1983, the college-town staple now has more than 2,000 locations.

"It is disturbing this document is being used and it is our position that it has broad impact on thousands of employees," said Chavez, who is a lawyer with the Chicago firm Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil.

Chavez used the example of a student who works at a Jimmy John's in Illinois during high school. Once he leaves for college at the University of Alabama, he has been foreclosed from working just about anywhere in Tuscaloosa that serves a decent share of sandwiches -- including, in theory, the school cafeteria -- because most of those places fall within three miles of a Jimmy John's.


Now the article does go on to assert that some franchisees have decided to pull the non-compete covenant from their hiring packets since the story broke - and that enforcing such a covenant would be difficult in court. But that doesn't change the fact that this corporation is attempting ( at the very least ) to create a form of slavery over their own employees. A resource used, historically, to protect trade secrets being divulged - now being used as a tool to keep employees from having options - as most entry level, college student jobs would involve working in food service, finding a job where there were no sammiches being made a difficult bit of work indeed. Even bars serve freaking sandwiches.

Exactly what sort of major "trade secret" could justify Jimmy John's invoking this sort of thing? Do they put the ham on their sammiches in a different arrangement than Subway? If so, does that really make the damned thing taste any different???

Gah - rage and more rage piled upon a base layer of uber rage. What rampant stupidity this is.

What say you ATS? Do you see this the same way I do - or do you think it's OK for a sandwich shop to restict their near minimum wage employees from changing jobs if they so choose - especially considering the allegations of wage-theft?

Thanks for your time and for reading. Now I am off to bang my head on my desk for awhile to see if slight to moderate brain damage changes my outlook on this any....


edit on 10/17/14 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 06:40 AM
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Yeah that's ridiculous. I'm continually surprised seeing how little people will work for lately. That no compete clause is incredible.

My favorite trick is temp agencies. I have spent a year now trying to get hired on as an employee to the company while I work as a temp in a temp agency. They always say after so many hours you are eligible to get hired, then time and again, you find out they have no intention of hiring anybody and that most of the people working there are temps.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:02 AM
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a reply to: Hefficide

Yea, having a non-compete clause for a sammich shop is pretty ludicrous. Personally, I can't stand Jimmie Johns, they make the most tasteless, dull, boring sub sandwiches in the business. I refuse to eat their crap after two experiences with their product.

Telling their employees that they cannot work elsewhere that peddles like products, like McDonalds or such would cause a high turn-over of employees I would think. Maybe that's why their product tastes like crap?



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:05 AM
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I had to read your post a couple of times....while shaking my head.
Must be a "secret" in making that "special" sandwich, don't want to give away the trade secrets.....REALLY?

Who came up with that idea? Actually thought they had to draw up a 2 year contract on making a damn sandwich some where else?

A lot of people have way to much time on their hands I guess.







posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:20 AM
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a reply to: Hefficide

Yes, it's absurd.

However, people aren't forced to take jobs at Jimmy Johns. If people would turn down the job and cite the ridiculous corporate policy that some idiotic lawyer thought was a good idea as the reason maybe JJ would change the policy.

I think JJ's would benefit more from putting out a quality product rather than trying to find "loyal employees".



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:23 AM
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Why would you expect anyone working at a minimum wage job to sign any kind of contract? That's ridiculous. Sue the hell out of them and shut them down. Anyone that would try to put that kind of crap on an employee doesn't deserve to be doing business.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:27 AM
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I remember 'back in the day' working at a sandwich and pizza-parlor; I was making about 8 dollars an hour, each of our sandwiches sold for just short of 10 dollars, and I would prepare perhaps 30 sandwiches in a 6 hour shift. We had about 3 to 4 employees on any given shift. We worked right next to the airport, so we were always busy (great location, really). Reviewing the ordering, cost of supplies, rent, etc., I decided my labor power was being exploited (even though making close to 8 dollars an hour was considered rather decent pay 15 years ago in BFE, Colorado) as the mark-up on just our sandwiches was very well over 200%, and pizzas were about 400%.

Granted, my employer was a super decent fellow to work for, and his business strategy really worked, and being a non-corporate job, there was no contract agreement, save for the 8 dollars an hour wage-agreement - BUT, Jimmy John's is taking it too far; this is straight-up abuse and wage-slavery. I'm certain that this agreement isn't even made aware to the new-hires, as most kids (and aduts, really) don't read the fine-print, and will just sign anything simply to speed up a process. Business owners of sandwich shops already make a killing on their incredible product mark-up (which most hungry customers are willing to pay), and their non-competitive, 'close-to-minimum-wage' low-wages which is very telling, as these types of wages imply the message: 'we would pay you even less if it were only legal'.

Screw Jimmy John's. I doubt the new-hire is privy to any proprietary business information or strategy (it's a just a f*cking sandwich, for the love of God). I refuse now to spend my money there. The info posted in the OP needs to be forwarded to various social and news media-outlets. This type of business conduct screws kids over before they can even get on their feet and locks them into wage-slavery - a perfect example of why unregulated enterprise doesn't work.

xox



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:28 AM
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a reply to: Gully

I agree that nobody is forced to work at Jimmy John's - nor anywhere else for that matter. But, having said that: A number of years ago I found myself delivering pizzas, part time, simply because it was the ONLY job hiring at that moment and not working was not an option.

At that point in my life driving was my primary job - imagine if the pizza joint had such a non-compete clause. I could have ended up stuck there, forbidden to use my driving skills to pursue my usual occupation.

My bellyache with this is that, over the course of my life, I have seen stories like this pop-up before and have noticed that often they follow a pattern. The first time we read about it, we are outraged. The second? We're irked. The third? We mutter a bit. Then, after time passes - we learn to simply accept the practice as part of the "new status quo" and it becomes universal.

Imagine an America where EVERY employer started this garbage! Nobody with skills, specialized or otherwise, would be free to move unless they agreed to transfer within their own company!



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:28 AM
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a reply to: Hefficide
I don't even see any business advantage in having the clause.
If the technology skills are not high, it does nothing to prevent competing businesses from having workers.

It seems to me as though they are just imitating the contracts that are imposed elsewhere without thinking the issue through properly. Personnel departments following the current fashion of their own trade.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:33 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I think it's partly to keep the employees "loyal"... keep them from quiting.

It takes money to find and hire employees and companies don't want to pay that cost over and over.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:35 AM
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a reply to: Gully

If only they realized that the best way to keep employees is to make them feel appreciated. I was in management for many years and learned that recognition was actually more effective than money for keeping good people.

Then again, paying more than $7.89 might install a bit more loyalty as well.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:37 AM
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a reply to: Hefficide

You have a good argument but I don't know what to tell you.

I'm in the tech industry and I see this in contracts all the time. I've turned down a job because of it. Worked at one place where they tried to get me to retroactively sign one... I refused - they did not fire me...

People need to read what they are signing and question it. If people don't like that part of the contract ask for it to be struck from it... if everyone did this things might be different.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:37 AM
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originally posted by: Hefficide
a reply to: Gully

If only they realized that the best way to keep employees is to make them feel appreciated. I was in management for many years and learned that recognition was actually more effective than money for keeping good people.

Then again, paying more than $7.89 might install a bit more loyalty as well.


I am in 100% agreement with you on that.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:42 AM
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That would be unenforceable as are most non-compete contracts. Think of these like those parking lot "We are not responsible" signs, they are meaningless but serve to dissuade some people.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:43 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Totally - it seems like these jerk-offs are thinking, 'like, well, many successful businesses have lots of red-tape, so let's emulate their strategy (even though it is a completely different playing feild), because bureaucracy can't be avoided anyway, so let's just go with it.' I loathe this type of thinking, and have worked for too many companies that utilize this mind-set. The fast food and retail industries want to pretend they are Silicon Valley or Wall Street, and endeavor to have their employees believe the same.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:46 AM
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I don't understand why employers do things like that. The company I currently work for has a no compete clause, and they claim it is "to protect us from evil employers that want to steal our trade secrets and immediately fire us once they have our knowledge". True story.

I found a way to get around things like this, and it's quite simple. These clauses are generally in the paperwork you have to actually sign. Fortunately, the employer generally doesn't read anything, they just look for your signature on the last page. Just make sure you READ all of the paperwork, and take a pen, and cross out and initial the no compete section.

A previous company I worked for was threatening legal action because I started working for their competition in a higher position after they denied me a promotion. I did that on their no compete section, and I showed them that I crossed it out, initialed it, and........ Well...... It's going on 3 years, and I have yet to have any legal ramifications



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 07:52 AM
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originally posted by: Gully
a reply to: DISRAELI

I think it's partly to keep the employees "loyal"... keep them from quiting.

It takes money to find and hire employees and companies don't want to pay that cost over and over.


The bigger part has more to do with competition and wages. If your employees can't get another job from the industry they are skilled at, it makes it easier to pay them less and over work them.

This is typical among the big giants of an industry , they pretty much agree behind doors to not take employees from each other. Although , I'm somewhat surprised it is happening at this level I'm not completely surprised as companies ussually take the cookie cutter approach from the biggger guys.

pando.com...

One of my previous employer tried to use the non compete clause to stop me from going to another company.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 08:17 AM
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Hey, I just did a little research, and based on the broad scope of the Jimmy John's no compete clause, it would be considered "unreasonable" by any state court, and therefore unenforceable.

Contracts that day you can't work for competition in an area of several miles around your current place of employment for up to 2 years in your current position or its equivalent, would be enforceable.

However, not being able to hold ANY position at a competitor within 3 miles of ANY Jimmy John's..... Unreasonable = unenforceable = illegal.

Man, I love legal loopholes



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 08:23 AM
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a reply to: dothedew

I did mention in the OP that it is likely not anything a court would entertain or enforce. However, Civil Court might well be inclined to award monetary damages for Breach of Contract or some such. A future employer could also used the Jimmy John's contract - and ones violation of it - as a reason to terminate employment under the same umbrella "modality of living" clauses that they can use to fire people who smoke, drink or have bad credit.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 08:41 AM
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a reply to: Hefficide

I can see an issue like this going to a civil court, however, I don't know if they could go after something such as breach of contract, if said contact is void to begin with.

I do 100% agree with the modality of living, though. I've had employers fire me after finding out that I smoked those nasty, horrible cigarettes. Hell, I've also been turned down by employers based off of my credit score! (I'm still wondering what my credit score has to do with heading an automotive quality team.....)

I suppose the moral of the story here is that if you don't like the fine print, don't work there.

On a side note, I wonder how often, statistically, issues regarding this come about? You know that 90% of people don't read through the full contracts. Especially if you're willing to work for so little, you don't care what you're signing, you're just happy to have done extra income



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