Seven national fast-food chains have agreed to end policies that block workers from changing branches — limiting their wages and job opportunities — under the threat of legal action from the state of Washington.

Seven national fast-food chains have agreed to end policies that block workers from changing branches — limiting their wages and job opportunities — under the threat of legal action from the state of Washington.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced binding agreements with the companies — McDonald’s, Auntie Anne’s, Arby’s, Carl’s Jr., Jimmy John’s, Cinnabon and Buffalo Wild Wings — at a news conference Thursday. McDonald’s had previously announced plans to end the practice.

The so-called no-poach policies prevent franchises from hiring workers away from other franchises of the same chain. That’s been convenient for franchise owners, who sometimes worry about workers they’ve trained jumping to nearby branches.

But it has also blocked experienced workers at one franchise from getting better-paying jobs at others, potentially keeping tens of thousands of employees around the country stuck in low-wage positions.

Without access to better job opportunities at other franchises, workers have less leverage to seek raises in their current positions, Ferguson said.

“Our state antitrust laws are very clear: Businesses must compete for workers the same way as they compete for customers,” Ferguson said. “You can’t rig the system to avoid competition.”

In separate agreements filed Thursday in King County Superior Court in Seattle, the companies denied that their policies are illegal, but said they wanted to avoid expensive litigation. McDonald’s said it was pleased to work with Ferguson’s office.

“We believe everyone at McDonald’s has an opportunity to grow and progress throughout their career,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Ferguson credited the businesses for quickly agreeing to end the practice nationwide in response to his legal threats and said fast-food chains that don’t follow …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real -Time News

      

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