America's largest fast-food chains forced to end conspiracy not to hire people looking for better-paid McJobs

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/15/im-lovin-it-2.html

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#2

Heck in my current job. So I work for agency B who took over for agency A. We poached (edit: poached is probably not quite right as they would have been let go by agency A and unemployed) a few of the staff from A. Pretty much the rest went on to agency C still more or less doing the same job. Only the ones who came to our agency got violation of non compete you have to quit now letters. Of course the company paying the agency is says nope they can stay hired and they have bigger lawyer budget. Still a fucking headace for those involved. Mostly agency A is being a dick about losing a contract.

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#3

So this only effects McD’s employees moving to another McD’s, right? Not McD’s workers going to Wendy’s?

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#4

Collusion in the labour market: no longer just for limiting the mobility and options of skilled and credentialed employees. Ah, late-stage capitalism.

What is surprising is how pervasive noncompetes are

As with so many other contracts have over the past 20 years, non-competes have been twisted and have metastasised with the short end of the stick always going to “consumers/human resources”.

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#5

So…

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#6

Misterrrr andersonnn… once yoou start flipping burrgerrrs , at , mcdonalds… you will only ever flip burgers , at mcdonalds what do you have to say , about , that,

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#7

Are these actually enforceable in the USA? We see them from time to time here in the UK, but people just laugh them off because they’re considered unenforceable. I imagine you might see someone try if it was a person moving with a load of proprietary knowledge like a trading quant, but even then I’m not sure it would hold up to a legal test.

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#8

Exactamundo. This is where most forms of economic Libertarianism end up: feudalism, where the only law is that of the land and property owners.

They are when they’re legitimate, non-collusive, and can be demonstrated to result in material damages (e.g your example of someone taking proprietary knowledge developed at the employer, or a salesman taking a leads file with him) and when state law allows it. Usually when the employee is that skilled the clause can be negotiated as part of the employment process (e.g. reducing the length or changing the triggering circumstances of the non-compete term), but the employment contracts of fast-food workers are about as negotiable as the EULA one clicks to use a Web site – take it or leave it.

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#9

The latter and the former… fuck non compete contracts/clauses.

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#10

My company could hire away 5 people right now from competitors in a large, midwestern state and another 25 in 90 days. And we’d do it at a 30%-50% premium over what they’re getting paid right now (going from $16ish/hr to $45K year+ benefits) But the enforceability of non-competes in that state are absolutely dreadful and so we can’t go fishing where the fish are.

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#11

It depends on who has a bigger war chest for the lawyers. California is the only state I know of that says they are not enforceable.

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#12

Frankly, I don’t see why any worker would tell the old boss where they’re going. Is it such a tight-knit industry that everybody knows everybody else? Just say you’re quitting to hitchhike across Europe and find yourself. Or are you such a celebrity that you’re going to show up on the cover of Wage Slave Magazine?

Cone to think of it, the same holds for McWorkers. Just quit and go to Wendy’s. Worried about losing the perks of seniority? What’s that, first pick of the unsold McNuggets?

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#13

If your only real employment opportunities are fast-food jobs then you don’t have a lot of geographic mobility when it comes to finding a new one, especially if you’re not in a big city. Your old boss at Arby’s is going to find out very quickly that you started working at McD’s an Arby’s on the other side of town.

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#14

What’s being called a “non-compete clause” in the article is actually and “anti-poaching” agreement. This is still very much illegal in most of the US (maybe all, but IANAL). This is the same thing that Microsoft, Apple, Google, eBay, et al were busted for a few years ago. Executives and CEOs had agreed not to hire away each others technical talent. Thereby keeping wages for these employees artificially low. In this case, the only difference is that the people who own the fast food franchise businesses are being required by the franchising companies to enter into these agreements. It’s a win-win for the McCorporations and the franchisees (keeps profits up by keeping worker wages down, which helps them both). Of course it screws the workers, but here we are…

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#15

You’re missing the point. It’s not the employee that signed the non-compete. It’s the franchise that signed it. It’s not you being sued because you went and got hired at a new restaurant. It’s you going to apply and never getting a call back because the franchise agreed to not hire you. You never find out why you didn’t get called back.

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#16

That’s not what’s happening. It’s an agreement between franchisees not to hire each others employees. That way I can’t get my training and experience at Arby’s A and then go get hired at Arby’s B at a higher wage (because I’m an experienced employee).

Example: I’m an experienced McDonalds team member with a year of seniority. The owner of the franchise I work at is a douche bag. I think I’ll try and get a job at the golden arches across town. I fill out my application, list my previous experience and offer some great references. The hiring manger at this new McDs looks at my application, sees that I currently work at the McDonalds on the other side of the tracks and promptly throws my application in the bin. Because they are contractually forbidden from hiring me. Sucks for me, but keeps their employee costs down so Ronald and his franchise owners make more money.

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#17

I thought non-competes were explicitly unenforceable in California?

#18

Alas I am not in California… (my profile might give you a hint on where I work then again maybe not so much these days)

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#19

I had this recently happen regarding my contract with an HOA that I run, for extra money & misery. I told them I would double my rate if they required me to sign a non-compete, the dummies are now paying me double and I’m still working for the competition.

Non-compete’s are not recognized / unenforceable in California…
@Space_Monkey

It’s a win win for me.

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#20

Jesus fucking christ. They can enforce non-competes on people making $16/hr?

It’s bad enough that they can be enforced at all, but in Oregon they’re limited to salaried jobs paying over $70k. If your employer is based in California, they can’t have them no matter where you work.

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