Illinois legislature investigates ‘no compete’ clauses in fast food hiring practices

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Illinois’ Attorney General Lisa Madigan is investigating hiring practices at fast food restaurants, specifically so-called ‘no poaching’ agreements which restrict franchise owners from hiring workers away from the same franchise.

For example, a worker at Arby’s is not allowed to walk down the street and get a job at a different Arby’s.

Madigan argues the ‘no poach’ agreements trap workers in low-wage jobs and limit the ability to seek promotion within a chain of restaurants.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce hopes a compromise can be reached between lawmakers and businesses.

“Anytime there’s going to be an expansion of regulation or government interference, there’s going to be a pushback from business,” said Tyler Diers, Director of Legislative Relations. “We’re well stated on that, as well. However, we are protecting workers as well and in this instance, we’d be willing to work with legislature or [the] Attorney General.”

The Chamber says these rules, limiting worker’s job choices, can be hard to justify. Some business groups argue, as companies face staffing shortages and rising wages, the rules help keep trained workers in place.

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