Woman fighting to work - FOX 13 News

Woman looking for work after Subway enforces non-compete contract

Posted: Updated:
Leah Debene Leah Debene
EASTPOINTE, Mich. (WJBK) -

A woman is fighting to work at another sandwich shop after Subway enforced her non-compete contract, which she regrets not fully understanding when she was young and signed it.

"I want to be able to work. I'm a worker. I'm not somebody who wants to sit at home on unemployment; I don't want to be sitting around waiting for a year to be working," says Leah Benene. She was a manager at the Subway restaurant in Eastpointe on Nine Mile and Kelly roads.  

She worked for the company for almost five years, leaving back in August after getting sick and needing surgery. She missed a lot of work.  

"I did send them an email saying I needed a little bit more time off, and if that couldn't be granted then I might have to just put in my notice. I was still sick, and they had called me in that day to terminate me about 45 minutes after the email was sent," Benene explains to Fox 2's Amy Lange.

Several weeks later Benene got a job at another sandwich shop. But then she got a letter which contained a copy of the non-compete contract she signed back in December of 2009.

"I was first starting out; I was a young manager - brand new. I do not remember signing it so when it came back at me I was in shock," she explains. "I was like, 'What is this?'

It's a document - she signed - saying she can't work at a competing business within one hundred miles for a full year after leaving Subway. Benene also received this letter from the company attorney telling her she must honor the contract, and the lawyer contacted her new employer as well.

"They also sent the non-compete letter and the lawyer letter directly to that franchise, and, since then, I've been terminated from there," says Benene.

Fox 2 received the following statement from the Subway where Benene worked:

"Non-competes are an important business practice allowed by the state of Michigan to protect a company's business interest including protection of confidential information from competitors. Our view is that this is a matter of policy and has nothing to do with a specific individual."
- Nick Moschouris, Subway owner

Benene says she'll look for other work but is warning others to be careful what they agree to when they're young and just getting started and signing paperwork they don't truly understand.

"You've got to really understand what you're signing, because at this point, it has taken over my whole life," Benene says.

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Former SMART employee's lawsuit battle drags on after 10 years

    Former SMART employee's lawsuit battle drags on after 10 years

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:49:24 GMT
    The case was originally about workplace discrimination. Now it's dragged on for more than a decade despite the case appearing to be one that the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation can't win.
    The case was originally about workplace discrimination. Now it's dragged on for more than a decade despite the case appearing to be one that the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation can't win.
  • Family's home hit hard by storms for second time

    Family's home hit hard by storms for second time

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:51 PM EDT2014-08-28 00:51:07 GMT
    For Ericka Page, first came the flood, then the gas line break and Tuesday, the massive tree limb that broke off with part of it landing on her house.
    For Ericka Page, first came the flood, then the gas line break and Tuesday, the massive tree limb that broke off with part of it landing on her house.
  • Police investigate connection of Southfield suicide and Detroit homicide

    Police investigate connection of Southfield suicide and Detroit homicide

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:26 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:26:24 GMT
    Police have identified a man's body with a gunshot wound to the chest found under an overpass at 9 Mile and Southfield Tuesday afternoon.At about the time Michael Young, 56, was found, Detroit Police were called to his home - on Westmoreland for a welfare check."The Woman had not been seen since Saturday," said Detroit Police Officer Adam Madera. "We received a 911 call for the well being check and Southfield Police Department showed up all at the same time."Inside police found the body of 56...
    Police have identified a man's body with a gunshot wound to the chest found under an overpass at 9 Mile and Southfield Tuesday afternoon.At about the time Michael Young, 56, was found, Detroit Police were called to his home - on Westmoreland for a welfare check."The Woman had not been seen since Saturday," said Detroit Police Officer Adam Madera. "We received a 911 call for the well being check and Southfield Police Department showed up all at the same time."Inside police found the body of 56...
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • WATCH: Fox 2's Rich Luterman take the Ice Bucket Challenge

    WATCH: Fox 2's Rich Luterman take the Ice Bucket Challenge

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:58:51 GMT
    Fox 2 Weather Authority Rich Luterman took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, after receiving challenges by a couple friends, including Monica Gayle.Watch Rich take the challenge with the assistance of his children and see who he issues the challenge to.
    Fox 2 Weather Authority Rich Luterman took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, after receiving challenges by a couple friends, including Monica Gayle.Watch Rich take the challenge with the assistance of his children and see who he issues the challenge to.
  • VP Joe Biden speaks in Detroit on Labor Day

    VP Joe Biden speaks in Detroit on Labor Day

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:18:46 GMT
    This is the second time vice president Joe Biden has been in Detroit on Labor Day in the past three years.
    This is the second time vice president Joe Biden has been in Detroit on Labor Day in the past three years.
  • RECALL: Kraft American Singles Cheese Slices

    RECALL: Kraft American Singles Cheese Slices

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:05 AM EDT2014-09-01 12:05:15 GMT
    Kraft voluntarily recalled 7,691 cases of its American Singles cheese product Friday because an ingredient was stored improperly by a supplier.
    Kraft voluntarily recalled 7,691 cases of its American Singles cheese product Friday because an ingredient was stored improperly by a supplier.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices