Illinois Adopts Comprehensive Non-Compete Statute Effective January 1, 2022

Non-Compete, Non-Solicit, Employment Agreement, Restrictive Covenant, Illinois

Governor Pritzker has signed a bill creating Illinois’ first comprehensive statute regulating the use of non-compete and non-solicit covenants. The law establishes bright-line rules regarding which employees can be required to sign such covenants and creates a mandatory pre-signature process designed to protect employees. The statute also codifies existing Illinois case law without changing it substantially.

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Employer Gets Dinged When Illinois Court Refuses Request for Partial Enforcement of Non-Compete Against Low-Wage Worker

Confidentiality Clauses, Non-Compete, Non-Solicit, Confidential Information, Illinois

Bad facts make bad law, the saying goes. In the non-compete world, it might more aptly be said that filing a weak lawsuit against a sympathetic defendant makes bad law.

A recent decision by the Illinois Appellate Court is a good example. The court refused to enforce a non-solicitation agreement that many judges would have upheld under the right circumstances. The likely (if unspoken) reason? The defendant was a low-wage employee who fixed car dents for a living and who hadn’t done anything particularly wrong after quitting his job.

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Non-Disclosure Clauses in Employment Agreements Held Void Under Wisconsin Law for Lack of Time Limitations

Non-Compete, Nondisclosure, Trade Secrets, Wisconsin, Confidential Information

It is well-settled that a non-compete must include a reasonable time limitation in order to be enforceable. Most employers understand this requirement and limit the duration of the their non-competes (and non-solicits) to 2 years or less.

But what about confidentiality/non-disclosure provisions in employment agreements? Must they also contain time limitations?

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New Indiana Physician Non-Compete Law Protects Patients’ Interests

Non-compete, non-solicit, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, physician non-compete

When it comes to non-competes in the health care industry, the doctor/patient relationship has sometimes taken a back seat to business considerations. That is changing in Indiana, where a new law adds requirements for physician non-competes that will make it easier for patients to follow their doctor to a new practice group or medical center.  Continue reading

To Delete or Not to Delete? Illinois Federal Court Helps Answer Question for Employees Changing Jobs

Illinois, Employment Agreements, Spoliation, Confidentiality Clauses, Trade Secrets

A common issue when advising an employee changing jobs is how to deal with company information on the employee’s phone or personal laptop. Should the employee simply delete it? Or should a forensic copy be made before deletion to preserve evidence in anticipation of litigation?

A recent decision by U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois gives comfort to those who opt for the more pragmatic approach of simply deleting the data. Even so, the case suggests steps that could have been taken to avoid litigation and a claim of destruction of evidence.  Continue reading

Dilly Dilly! The 7th Circuit Remands Preliminary Injunction in Bud Light Case for Not Being Set Forth in a Separate Document

 

Bud Light King

When is a preliminary injunction not really a preliminary injunction?  When it is contained in the body of the opinion granting the injunction, rather than being made a stand-alone injunctive order – at least according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

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Garden Leave– British Import Growing in Popularity Here

Non-Compete, Employment Agreements, Restrictive Covenants, Garden Leave

Long used in the U.K., garden leave is becoming increasingly popular with employers in the United States as an alternative to traditional non-compete agreements. 

Garden leave provisions take several different forms, but the key feature is that the employee is paid to sit out before starting his or her new job. The payment of compensation mitigates the impact on the employee, especially as compared to a non-compete where no payment is required and the employee may suffer a significant loss of earnings. Garden leaves are also generally shorter than non-competes—30 to 90 days—rather than one or two years as with many non-competes. Continue reading

Court Allows Tortious Interference Claim to Proceed Against Attorneys Alleged to Have Directed Clients to Breach Non-Compete

Non-Compete, Attorney-Client Relationship, Kentucky, Legal Malpractice, Tortious Interference

Can an attorney who allegedly counsels a client to breach a non-compete be sued by the client’s employer for tortious interference with contract? The answer may be yes, at least according to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, which recently refused to dismiss such claim in Pinnacle Surety Services, Inc. v. Mannion Stigger, LLP.[1] Continue reading

Ohio Non-Compete Law Applied To An Illinois Employee Under Choice-of-Law Clause

Non-Compete, Ohio, Illinois, Choice-of-Law

Variations in non-compete law from state to state can be frustrating for employers with multi-state workforces. A restriction that works in one state might be invalid in another.

A common fix is to include a choice-of-law clause designating a state that favors enforcement of non-competes, but the enforceability of such clauses also varies widely in different jurisdictions. That’s why the Northern District of Illinois’ recent PCM Sales, Inc. v. Reed decision enforcing an Ohio choice-of-law clause against an Illinois employee is a big win for employers. Continue reading