Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP Files Class Action Lawsuit against Burger King Worldwide, Inc. & Burger King Corporation
On October 5, 2018, Kessler Topaz filed a class action complaint against Burger King Worldwide, Inc. and Burger King Corporation (“BKC”) (together, “Defendants” or “Burger King”) for violating Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, by, among other things, incorporating an employee no-solicitation and no-hiring clause in the standard form franchise agreement all Burger King franchisees are required to sign.
About Burger King
Burger King is the world’s fifth largest fast-food chain, with 7,226 Burger King restaurants within the United States. Only 50 of those restaurants are owned directly by Burger King; the rest are independently owned and operated by franchisees.
Alleged Wrongful Conduct
Pursuant to Burger King’s standard franchise agreement, BKC and Burger King franchisees agreed not to solicit, poach, or hire workers employed at Burger King restaurants owned by BKC or other Burger King franchisees during their employment and for six months after the termination of their employment (the “No-Hire Clause). The No-Hire Clause was intended to restrict competition between and among BKC and franchisees and suppress employee wages, and it had such an effect. Indeed, the No-Hire Clause eliminated any opportunity for franchisees to compete with each other and with BKC for employees, resulting in restricted wages and mobility for employees. Absent the No-Hire Clause, franchisees could and would have competed with each other and BKC for employees in a free and open marketplace, including on wages and benefits.
The complaint asserts claims on behalf of the following Class: All persons in the United States who are current or former employees of a Burger King restaurant operated by Burger King or a franchisee from at least 2010 forward (the “Class”).
From at least 2010 forward, Defendants’ conduct proximately and foreseeably caused the plaintiff and members of the Class to suffer injuries by suppressing their wages below competitive levels, restricting their benefits, and limiting their ability to seek employment at competing Burger King restaurants. The No-Hire Clause deprived Plaintiff and Class members of better wages, benefits, and job growth opportunities.
If you were ever employed with a Burger King franchise at any time since 2010, and you would like to learn more about our litigation, please fill out our online form, or contact us today at 888-299-7706 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.