Church’s Chicken, the fourth-largest quick service restaurant chicken franchisor in the United States, announced an Agreement of Discontinuance with the Attorney General of the State of Washington regarding no-solicitation clauses included in franchise agreements between Church’s corporate and its franchisee operating three locations in that state.
“We have had discussions with the state’s Attorney General about amending the current language in our franchise agreements and we are now intent on eliminating any wording that could be viewed as limiting a Church’s restaurant employee’s ability to seek employment with another Church’s franchisee,” says Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Craig Prusher. “This is a practice we will now adhere to going forward in all states where our franchisees do business. We are very appreciative of the efforts of Washington State Attorney General Robert Ferguson, and we will be working closely with his office moving forward.”
A single franchisee owns all three of Church’s restaurants operating in the State of Washington and there have been no issues relating to franchisees soliciting employees of other franchisees. “The franchise agreement language was intended to protect the substantial investments by Church’s franchisees in training their personnel and to enhance the overall value of the brand. However, we so seldom have had any occasion even to consider invoking this clause, and given the AG’s concerns with the language, we decided to remove it from our system nationwide,” says Prusher. “Church’s believes in being proactive in this matter, and as an employer of choice and a franchisor of choice, we want all current and prospective employees to know they are free to work where they choose. For 66 years, Church’s has offered competitive salaries, great benefits, and an environment where employees learn and grow.”
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