Seven fast food chains have agreed to end policies prohibiting workers from seeking jobs with another franchise, called “no-poach” policies, under threat of legal action from the state of Washington.
On Thursday, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced McDonald's, Auntie Anne's, Arby's, Carl's Jr., Jimmy John's, Cinnabon and Buffalo Wild Wings had signed binding agreements to stop their use of this practice. Washington state locations of all but McDonald’s will remove “no-poach” language within 120 days. McDonald’s, which had already announced a plan to stop the use of the clauses, said it will remove them within 60 days.
Earlier this week, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal joined 10 attorneys general in a letter requesting records from Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Little Caesars, Wendy’s, Arby’s, Popeyes Louisiana Chicken and Panera Bread regarding their possible use of so-called “no poach” provisions.
Franchises in New Jersey and elsewhere in the U.S. must remove “no-poach” language when contracts come up for renewal. Failure to comply will subject the companies to civil penalties.
Such provisions “can limit a worker’s future job prospects and restrict his or her earning potential, which is not only unfair to the worker but can harm the state’s economy,” Grewal said in a statement Monday.