If anti-poaching clauses are a mainstay of your business as an Ohio franchisor, you might want to promptly consult with experienced employment law attorneys for advice and potential revision of your policies and contracts.
Here’s why: Those provisions are increasingly being questioned and coming under legal attack in states across the country, including Ohio. Franchise owners can point to many reasons why anti-poaching language promotes their bottom line, but pro-business arguments are under an onslaught presently from public sentiment and regulatory action that solidly opposes anti-poaching agreements.
Business principals know that such language deters rivals from raiding attempts aimed at securing already well-trained workers. The push for such protection is so great that nearly 60% of big-name American franchisors routinely insert anti-poaching clauses in their employment pacts.
Critics don’t care a whit about that. Labor advocates, as well as state/federal regulators and a growing band of attorneys general, lambast poaching language for what they stress is its adverse effect on worker wages and mobility.
Unquestionably, franchisors are caving in to the growing pressure, notwithstanding their insistence that anti-poaching clauses promote legitimate business interests. It was recently reported that A-tier franchises including McDonalds, Applebee’s, Little Caesars and many other chains will soon expunge anti-poaching provisions from their contracts.
The motivation that drives compliance is clear enough. Class action lawsuits are growing in number, and regulators are spotlighting harsh criminal and civil penalties that can be assessed in given cases.
The subject matter grows in scope and intensity, and has obvious implications for select business players. We will keep readers duly informed of material developments that emerge.