BENTON – A former Madison County Jimmy John's employee alleges the restaurant chain's anti-competitive behavior to restrict competition between franchises unfairly suppresses employee wages.

Sylas Butler filed a complaint on behalf of individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated filed a complaint on Jan. 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Jimmy John's Franchise LLC, et al., alleging that they violated the Sherman Antitrust Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff began employment with Jimmy John's franchise Kidds Restaurant Inc. in August 2015 in Madison County. He alleges he wished to work additional hours, but his hours were reduced until he was working four hours per week by January 2017. He alleges because he was unable to transfer to a competing Jimmy John's franchise due to the company's noncompetition agreement, he quit to search for other employment.

The plaintiff alleges Jimmy John's contractual agreements "reflects a naked restraint of competition and a per se violation of antitrust laws."

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks an order certifying this action as a class action, appointing him as the representative and his counsel as class counsel, damages in an amount according to proof, plus interest, attorneys’ fees, costs and all other equitable relief.

He is represented by Derek Y. Brandt of McCune Wright Arevalo LLP in Edwardsville; Richard D. McCune and Michele M. Vercoski of McCune Wright Arevalo LLP in Ontario, California; and Joseph G. Sauder of McCune Wright Arevalo LLP in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois case number 3:18-cv-00133

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