Consider this dilemma: You work in a low-paying job for a check-cashing service and you want to quit your job and change employers. What are your practical options outside of applying for opportunities at similar establishments? A recent lawsuit against an Illinois employer addresses this issue.
An Illinois payday lender has been sued by the state attorney general for forcing its low-wage employees to sign overly restrictive, unlawful non-compete agreements. According to the complaint filed October 25 in Cook County Circuit Court, Check Into Cash of Illinois, LLC requires customer service employees at all its 33 Illinois locations, including those earning less than $13 per hour, to sign a non-compete agreement as a condition of employment, in violation of the state Freedom to Work Act and Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act.
The noncompetes prohibit Check Into Cash employees from working “directly or indirectly” for any other business that provides consumer lending services or products for one year after they leave the company. These include any paycheck advance services, check-cashing services, pawn services, credit lending services, or any other money transmission service. The geographic territory off limits to former employees consists of businesses within 15 miles of any Check Into Cash location, not only in Illinois but in 32 other states where the parent company operates retail stores. Continue reading