7 Fast Food Chains To End 'No-Poach' Clauses: Wash. AG

SEATTLE, WA – Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thursday he has brokered a deal with seven nationwide chains to remove so-called burger-joint clauses in contracts. The deal affects workers at some 25,000 restaurants across the U.S., Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.

The deal comes after Ferguson launched an anti-trust investigation into the clauses in Washington state in early 2018. Some fast food chain franchise contracts forbid employees from moving to a job at another fast-food restaurant – a practice that can prevent workers from landing higher-paying jobs.

“Companies must compete for workers just like they compete for customers,” Ferguson said in a statement. “They cannot manipulate the market to keep wages low. My goal is to un-rig a system that suppresses wages in the fast food industry.”

The chains that will no longer use burger-joint clauses include: McDonalds; Carl’s Jr.; Buffalo Wild Wings; Arby’s; Auntie Annie’s; Cinnabon; and Jimmy John’s.

Ferguson said the restaurant chains preferred to eliminate the burger-joint clause from franchise agreements rather than face a lawsuit. The chains will remove the language from new franchise contracts going forward, and will eliminate the clause in existing franchise contracts as they come up for renewal.

Photo by David Allen/Patch

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