Little Caesars among brands queried by AGs on anti-poach pacts
Did Little Caesars or any of seven other limited-service brands cut anti-poaching deals to prevent competitors from hiring away employees? That's the question a number of U.S. state attorneys general are asking that brand, as well as Arby's, Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, Popeyes and Wendy's and fast casual brands, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Panera Bread, according to Reuters.
All those chains recently received letters from 11 attorneys general asking to review franchise agreements and other documents that may potentially include information around so-called "no-poach" provisions where brands essentially make pacts not to hire competitors' employees. That violates antitrust laws by limiting competition for employees, potentially depriving workers of better job opportunities.
In the letters, made public this week, the AGs asked brands to acknowledge the existence of any no-poach pacts and disclose their details, as well as whether they told employees of such agreements.
"By limiting potential job opportunities, these agreements may restrict employees' ability to improve their earning potential and the economic security of their families," Reuters quoted the attorneys general's letter as saying.
The U.S. Labor Departments Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median hourly pay of restaurant workers nationally is $9.81 per hour, though some make far less and others make more. The federal minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25 an hour, equaling $15,080 for those working 40-hour weeks annually. Congress has not voted to alter or increase the minimum wage in more than 10 years.