Twitter Is Outraged By This Jimmy John's Employee Sign

Even though it's a fairly big fast food brand, Jimmy John's has had its share of controversies. For instance, the company was forced to cough up $1.8 million a few years ago in a settlement after concerns were brought up by several employees, citing the Fair Labor Standards Act, who said that they weren't given overtime pay by the company (via Restaurant Dive).

The restaurant was also called out for forcing its employees to sign "a non-competition clause" that prevented workers from joining the brand's competitors for a period of two years after leaving Jimmy John's, per The Huffington Post. This rule was applicable to both delivery workers and sandwich artists and was highly restrictive because it stated that former employees couldn't work for any company that was getting 10% of its revenue from selling sandwiches, which is a large percentage of restaurants.

Now, Jimmy John's is receiving backlash once again. This time around, Twitter users are upset about controversial side-by-side signs spotted outside a Jimmy John's location regarding a labor shortage.

People are really upset over these signs

A Twitter user posted a picture of side-by-side signs spotted outside a Jimmy John's location. One, believed to be from management, mentioned that the restaurant was briefly shut down "due to labor shortage" and that they were working on hiring more team members. However, a different sign (likely written by employees) that was right next to the original sheet of paper had a different story to tell. It claimed that the owners mistreated their employees and never offered any kind of support. It read, "All employees (including management) were students and did a [great] job of keeping the store running with no help from the owners." It added that their business had slowed down only because of "lazy, careless ownership."

Enraged Twitter users made it clear they were standing up for the employees: One of the most-liked tweets read, "Shoutout to all the workers refusing to take sh***y treatment, not to mention lies, from the bosses and owners." It added that fast food employees need unions "to take ownership and control of our workplaces." Another Twitter user mentioned that they were offered $8 instead of $15 after their job interview, despite the fact that the job advertisement mentioned the latter pay rate. That person added that, upon learning of this discrepancy, they said that they "didn't want the job anymore," which upset the hiring manager so much that she "kicked [them] out." A different user claimed that Jimmy John's was the "worst place I ever worked at" and alleged that the company treats their employees badly, pays minimum wage, and doesn't offer any benefits. And that's just a fraction of the responses showing how much Twitter users are upset over this debate.

The Jimmy John's outrage is not confined to Twitter

However, the Twitterverse isn't the only community sharing their issues with Jimmy John's. Per a Reddit thread, some employees claim the quick-service sandwich shop doesn't allow employees any breaks. One employee took to the board to share, "My Jimmy John's doesn't let people take breaks. Every place I've ever worked at allows their employees breaks. Jimmy John's excuse is that 'it's too busy.' But other places are busy too and still let employees take breaks." 

This practice sounds widespread as another user chimed in, "My area manager once told me, 'Your downtime between sandwiches when you are just standing there, that is your break.'" Yet another Redditor echoed this sentiment, and wrote, "My manager said the same thing. But the 0.002 seconds of time between orders isn't enough to eat nor go to the bathroom. And this downtime is a lie since from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the orders print non-stop. And some days are so busy that I don't even get a chance to look at my phone even after the lunch rush, let alone eat for a moment."

According to the Department of Labor, laws around rest periods seem to vary state to state, but most do enforce mandatory breaks on a shift. And per CIPHR, taking a break allows employees to refocus and be more productive.

Burger King employees also posted a similar sign that went viral

Jimmy John's workers are not the only fast food employees that have posted signs to express their dismay, even eventually quitting because of poor working conditions and lack of staff to cover shifts. Per Business Insider, in July of last year, employees at a Burger King in Lincoln, Nebraska used the outdoor marquee to share their message with both management and customers. It read: "We all quit — sorry for the inconvenience." It didn't take long for social media to do its job, and photos of the sign were soon everywhere. Claims of working back-to-back shifts that started at from 5:30 a.m. and didn't conclude until 1 a.m. were among some of the complaints. Additionally, the staff cited sweltering temperatures in the kitchen due to a broken air-conditioner.

Business Insider has called employees quitting en masse "rage quitting." They define this trend as employees quitting in angry fits, giving little notice, and often times telling employers just what they think of them. As notes, it really gives new life to the lyrics of the country song "Take this job and shove it." With people continuing to quit their jobs in record numbers and an ongoing debate over labor standards, expect to see more of these signs in the future, too.