Attorneys general ask 6 QSRs about anti-poach pacts

Attorneys general ask 6 QSRs about anti-poach pacts

Have some fast food brands cut a deal that stacks the deck against employees seeking to improve their incomes by taking jobs with other locations in the chain? That's the question a number of U.S. state attorneys general are probing with QSR brands Arby's, Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, Popeyes and Wendy's, along with Little Caesars and fast casual brands, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Panera Bread, according to Reuters. 

All those chains recently received letters from 11 attorneys general asking to review franchise agreements and other documents that may potentially include information around so-called "no-poach" provisions where brands essentially make pacts not to hire the employees working at other locations of the same chain. That violates antitrust laws by limiting competition for employees, potentially depriving workers of better job opportunities.

In the letters, made public this week, the AGs asked brands to acknowledge the existence of any no-poach pacts and disclose their details, as well as whether they told employees of such agreements. 

"By limiting potential job opportunities, these agreements may restrict employees' ability to improve their earning potential and the economic security of their families," Reuters quoted the attorneys general's letter as saying.

Currently, the U.S. Labor Departments Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median hourly pay of restaurant workers nationally is $9.81 per hour, though some make far less and others make more. The federal minimum wage in the U.S. currently is $7.25 an hour, equaling $15,080 for those working 40-hour weeks annually. Congress has not voted to alter or increase the minimum wage in more than 10 years. 

Topics: Human Resources, Legal Issues, Workforce Management

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