Thursday, October 16, 2014

Non-compete agreements

This is Joseph.

Jimmy John's has a noncompete agreement.  Kevin Drum wonders what the point is, given how unlikely it is to be enforced.  Alison Griswold notes that:
That said, an unenforceable clause is still problematic if it's scaring employees who don't know any better into thinking they can't work at another sandwich shop—or another restaurant of any sort with a trade in sandwiches—for the next two years.
I don't even think that "scaring" is the right word.  Imagine the tight budgets somebody who works in fast food preparation likely has.  Yes, there will be exceptions.  But is it obvious that there will be lawsuits, even in a place like California

Do you know what no company wants to do with the new sandwich person?  Litigate to keep them.  Nor does an employee want to spend time and money in court to defend themselves if the court should grant an injunction while they hear the case.  Courts are slow, sessions happen during paid workdays, and it's not at all clear that anybody wants to deal with that while no longer making money.

So I think the chilling effect might be more than one realizes. 

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