The attorneys-general of several states have been investigating the use of non-compete agreements in the fast food industry. These non-compete agreements prevent an employee from going to work for another fast food restaurant or possibly other businesses. They are designed to prevent employee mobility and to keep wages low by preventing employees from seeking better opportunities elsewhere.
Generally, non-compete agreements are used to prevent senior executives or employees with knowledge of an employer’s trade secrets from using that knowledge on behalf of a competitor. Employees at fast food restaurants, however, usually do not have knowledge of trade secrets or other information that could harm an employer if that information were to come into the possession of a competitor. For this reason, there may not have been a valid basis for a fast food company to force an employee to sign a non-compete agreement and that agreement may not be enforceable.
If you are an employee of a fast food restaurant that was forced to sign a non-compete agreement, or if you have been prevented from getting a job in the fast food industry because of a non-compete agreement, please contact FBFG to discuss your legal rights. FBFG has successfully represented employees of various fast food restaurants in other matters.