The problem is compounded by the fact that franchisee workers are generally unaware of and have not accepted non-poaching contracts with franchisors. “The big problem here is that this is invisible to the worker,” Starr said. “The worker does not agree with this agreement. If they do not get away with their supervisor or if they learn that it is not a good work environment, or if they may have to move sites for some reason, and their skills are actually perfectly transferable to another franchise within the same company, then they are not in a position to do so. The next shoe that was to fall was enforcement measures against franchises with bare non-poaching agreements. In January 2018, for example, the Washington district attorney`s office launched an investigation into non-poaching and non-hire agreements between franchise-based fast food companies. These studies have resulted in discontinuous insurance agreements with more than 30 national fast food chains and restaurants to remove non-poaching clauses from their franchise agreements. Since then, the Washington Prosecutor`s Office has said that other sectors, including hotels, auto repairs, home health services and other areas of the franchise, are under investigation for illegal, poach-free agreements. According to Mr. Cappelli, these apparently contradictory positions raise two questions: on the one hand, whether a franchisor could ask its franchisees to sign non-poaching agreements without turning them into part of the franchised company. Second, what is good for employers, as in this case a non-poaching agreement, is not good for workers, because such agreements make it more difficult for them to earn higher wages. Here`s an example of how the policy is used to do something that might be great for the employer, but it`s bad for employees. There is also another type of clause that can be included in a non-shop clause. In accordance with this clause, the target company undertakes not to obtain or provide information to negotiate a deal with another potential buyer. This clause is mainly used by private companies because state-owned enterprises have a “trust clause” so as not to prevent the requested agreements.
On the other hand, in the case of non-poaching agreements, the competitive advantages appear to be relatively limited. With the increasing number of investigations into non-poaching in the United States, such cases can soon become a feature of Europe.