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King Co. Coffee Chain Must Void ‘Unfair’ Non-Compete Agreements With All Employees


SEATTLE —A King County coffee chain must void restrictive agreements it required all employees to sign following an investigation by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.

Mercury’s Coffee had all of their employees, some hourly and low-income, sign restrictive non-compete agreements, according to Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

These agreements prevented employees from working at any coffee shop within 10 miles of a Mercury’s Coffee location. The requirement also extended for eighteen months after the person left the company, essentially preventing someone from working at most coffee shops in King County.

Using one location as an example in their investigation, the AG’s Office said a barista working at Mercurys’ Redmond location would have to drive at least 40 minutes to find another coffee shop where they would be allowed to work.

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