Five corporate chains are ending no-poach practices to avoid a lawsuit by the state attorney general’s office.
AAMCO, Famous Dave’s, Meineke, Qdoba, and Villa Italian Kitchen recently signed legally binding commitments to stop adding no-poach clauses to franchise contracts and remove all existing no-poach clauses nationwide, according to a press release from the attorney general’s office. The companies have 60 to 120 days to remove current no-poach clauses from their Washington contracts, and must remove the clauses from nationwide contracts as they come up for renewal.
The five chains have 73 locations in Washington and more than 2,500 locations nationwide. The development brings the number of corporate chains to have signed such legally-binding agreements with attorney general Bob Ferguson to 62, according to the release.
No-poach clauses are added to franchise agreements between owners of franchises and corporate headquarters and prohibit employees from moving among stores in the same corporate chain, a practice that, according to the attorney general’s office, stagnates wages since someone working for one corporate chain location wouldn’t be able to accept a position at a competing franchise location that comes with higher pay.
Ferguson has indicated that his goal is to eliminate no-poach clauses nationwide. So far, he has filed one lawsuit against a company refusing to end no-poach practices — the restaurant chain Jersey Mike’s.
“My office has secured an end to no-poach clauses at more than 60 corporate chains nationwide,” Ferguson said in the release. “We will continue my initiative until every Washington worker is free from these unfair practices.”