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Attorney General reaches settlement to end 'no poach' hiring agreements in fast food chains

Maryland and other states have reached settlements with four national fast food franchisers to end the use of agreements that stop workers from moving from one franchise to another within the same chain.

Maryland reached the settlement to end so-called “no poach” agreements with Dunkin’ Brands, Arby’s, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and Little Caesars, Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced. Thirteen states and Washington began an investigation last July over concerns that such agreements hurt low-wage workers by limiting their chances of getting better paying jobs.

“These settlements mean fairer hiring practices for thousands of workers in Maryland and across the country,” Frosh said.

The franchisers agreed to stop putting “no-poach” provisions in their franchise agreements and to stop enforcing existing provisions. Franchisees also will be asked to remove “no-poach” provisions from existing franchise agreements and inform employees of the settlement. The restaurant chains will be required to notify the attorneys general if a franchisee tries to stop an employee from moving to another location.

The states looked into practices at Arby’s, Burger King, Dunkin’ Brands, Five Guys, Little Caesars, Panera Bread, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Wendy’s. Wendy’s said it never used no-poach provisions. Investigators are still looking into Burger King, Popeyes and Panera.

Maryland participated in the investigation with attorneys general from California, Washington DC, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

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