Non-compete agreements are generally used with high level employees with knowledge of confidential information about the business. Jimmy John’s, however, makes lower wage workers like sandwich makers and drivers sign non-compete agreements. The non-competes prevent employees from working for a competitor for 2 years after termination from Jimmy John’s at any restaurant that derives more than 10% of its revenue from selling submarine, hero, deli-style, pita and/or wrapped or rolled sandwiches located within 3 miles of any Jimmy John’s.
To be enforceable, in most states non-compete agreements cannot be overly broad and must protect some legitimate business interest. While Jimmy John’s non-compete agreements probably are not enforceable, low wage workers are less likely to know that. They are also less likely to have the resources to get advice from an attorney.
According to the Huffington Post, Jimmy John’s non-competes have the attention of Congress. House Democrats are asking the Labor Department and the Federal Trade Commission to look into Jimmy John’s use of non-compete agreements.