Career Calling

December 3, 2014

A Workers Bill of Rights

 

 

John Nichols of the Nation is one of my favorite political writers. Today he called for something that U.S. retail workers sorely need: A bill of rights. Here is an outline of his key points:

  1. Employers should offer full time jobs whenever possible.
  2. Employers should offer predictable schedules that let workers plan their lives.
  3. Employers should encourage worker retention and job security after companies are sold.

I agree with these points and would add the following for all workers:

  1. Workers should have the right to form unions without facing intimidation from their employers
  2. The minimum wage should be raised according to changes in inflation.
  3. The use of non-compete clauses should be limited and regulated. No minimum wage worker should be restricted by a non-compete clause.
  4. Equal pay for equal work.
  5. Repeal Taft-Hartley and other anti-worker, “Right to Work” [for less] laws.

Working people need to demand some protection.  They deserve a workers’ bill of rights.

October 15, 2014

Jimmy Johns Has Lost My Business

 

I like Jimmy Johns’ sandwiches, but I will never eat them after what I learned today. Why? They treat their employees badly. Raw Story reports (based on a story from Huffington Post) that every employee who works for the company signs a non-compete agreement that would prevent them from working for an sandwich maker for two years. I’ve written about non-compete agreements before. Once upon a time they were a tool used to keep key performers from jumping to competitors. Those employees usually received some kind of compensation that would let them wait out the term of the agreement. Now companies like Jimmy Johns are using non-compete agreements to make it difficult for employees to leave their job. That’s wrong. I will never at Jimmy Johns again

August 23, 2014

Another Tale of Non-compete Agreement Woe

 

I’ve written in the past about the danger of signing non-compete agreements. A client recently told me a new tale of non-compete woe. He was working in a technical position for a company that was sales focused. My client’s position had no function related to sales, so he could not steal any accounts or clients. He applied for a job with a company that purchased from his current employers. The hiring manager informed my client that they would love to hire him, but could not do so because of the agreement he signed. In most cases, non-compete agreements last for one year. The one my client signed lasts for 18 months. There is currently a position open at the company that wants to hire him, but he will not be free for another four months. He has lost two opportunities to work for a company that wanted to hire him.

If you are taking a new job, think carefully before signing any non-compete agreements. In a profession with limited opportunities, a non-compete agreement could keep you from working. If you don’t understand what an employment document is saying, take it to a lawyer before signing it. Be very careful before signing any employment document. Don’t limit your future.