I Can Eat at Jimmy John’s Again

Also, Jimmy John’s employees are no longer barred from working at other sandwich shops.

Photo credit: Mike Mozart, CC BY 2.0.

Some Billfolders might remember that in October 2014, I announced that I was breaking up with my favorite fast-food sandwich chain after learning about its poor treatment of employees and the fact that Jimmy John Liautaud liked to hunt endangered animals:

Well, The Wall Street Journal reports that one of these issues has been resolved:

Sandwich chain Jimmy John’s said it would stop including noncompete agreements in its hiring packets, as part of a settlement with New York authorities to be announced Wednesday.
Some Jimmy John’s stores has used contracts forbidding employees from working for any other establishment that made more than 10% of its revenue from selling sandwiches and is within 2 miles of any existing Jimmy John’s, according to the settlement.
The company had stopped providing the sample agreements to its franchisees in late 2014, but some had used them believing they were required, according to the settlement. Authorities asked the company to tell its franchisees specifically that the attorney general’s office believed any such agreements should be voided.

That’s good news for Jimmy John’s employees—and it’s also good news for me, because now I can eat at Jimmy John’s again. (You have no idea how many times I’ve thought wow, I wish I had never told The Billfold that I was boycotting Jimmy John’s. But I stuck to it.)

The most interesting part of all of this is the idea that some employees believed they were required to follow a non-compete clause that franchise owners believed they were required to issue, even though none of this was actually the case. How often do you think this happens in other businesses? I’m guessing, based on my experiences both preparing and signing contracts (and being aware of the amount of copy/paste involved) that this happens more than we realize.

UPDATE: Not to ignore the “likes to hunt endangered animals” issue, Liautaud stated in 2015 that he no longer hunts big game.