HOUSTON, Texas. The New York Times reports that the attorney generals of 10 states are reviewing some fast food restaurant “no poach” clauses. These clauses have a similar effect that non-compete clauses have in that they prevent workers from moving to other jobs. Unlike non-compete clauses however, “no poach” clauses limit worker’s movement within the fast food chain itself. So, while the worker could get a job at another brand, they couldn’t move to another branch of the brand in their neighborhood to work closer to home or to seek higher wages.
Some critics of the clauses believe that they may have been contributing to wage stagnation. If workers cannot seek higher paying opportunities at other branches, they may be forced to remain in lower-paying jobs. More alarming about the clauses is that workers may not always be aware that these clauses are in their contracts, unless they read their employment contracts thoroughly.
Non-compete clauses are a controversial provision in many employment contracts. According to Investopedia, non-compete clauses prevent a worker from taking a job at another company in direct competition with the company of employment. While many employers use non-compete clauses, not all of these clauses might be valid. In order for a non-compete clause to be valid, it must be limited in time and in geographic scope. If you are told that you are subject to a non-compete clause and this is affecting your ability to get work, you may have the right to challenge the clause in court.
Employers use non-compete clauses because they claim that they spend time and resources training employees and they don’t want these employees use trade secrets at other firms or companies. These clauses were more frequently used when hiring CEOs or other high-level management, and often came along with lucrative severance packages to compensate these workers for the period of time they could not work. Today, these clauses are used in many industries, from summer camps, editorial positions, and even pest control specialists. In these cases, the question arises: what trade secrets are these companies holding close? In many cases, employers use these clauses to keep workers in their current jobs and to prevent workers from moving to companies that will pay them more.
So, what can you do if you find that you have signed a non-compete agreement or have a job offer with a non-complete agreement in your contract? Consider speaking to an employment lawyer like Moore & Associates in Houston, Texas. We can review your non-compete agreement and determine whether it is valid or would stand up in court. Before you sign a non-complete agreement, consider speaking to a lawyer, or even better, ask your employer to remove the clause from the terms of your employment. In general, when it comes to low-wage jobs, it may not be worth it to agree to take a job with a non-compete clause. Have questions? Visit us at https://www.mooreandassociates.net/ to learn more.
Moore & Associates
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Houston, TX 77002