Court Compels Arbitration of Non-Compete Claim Based on Arbitration Clause in Separate Agreement

Non-Compete, Non-Solicit, Arbitration Provision, DTSA, Illinois

A federal court, in a non-competition setting, had to untangle the relationship between three separate agreements. One contained an arbitration provision but the others did not. Ultimately, the court determined that some parties had to arbitrate some claims but that others did not have to arbitrate.  Continue reading

Don’t Let the Janitor [Rule] Sweep Away Your Non-Compete

Non-Compete, Janitor Rule, Employment Agreements, Restrictive Covenants

A recent federal decision from the Northern District of Illinois again illustrates the perils of drafting and attempting to enforce overbroad restrictive covenants. In the case of Medix Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Dumrauf, 17-cv-6648, 2018 WL 1859039 (N.D.Ill. Apr. 17, 2018)(Ellis, J.), Medix, a pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device company, attempted to enforce a non-compete agreement against its former Director, Dumrauf, who had been responsible for its medical sales and recruiting strategies and who had left to work for a direct competitor, ProLink.  Continue reading

Illinois Court Examines What Constitutes Improper “Solicitation” Of Customers

Non-solicit, Employment Agreement, Quality Transportation Services, Thompson Trucking, Illinois

Although many restrictive covenants prohibit solicitation, there is comparatively little case law discussing in detail what “solicitation” means. A new Illinois Appellate Court decision sheds some light on the meaning of this key term. 

Quality Transportation Services, Inc. v. Thompson Trucking, Inc., 2017 IL App (3d) 160761 involved a contract dispute arising from the language of a transportation brokerage agreement. 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

2016 Trade Secret/Restrictive Covenant Year-In-Review

2016, DTSA, Illinois, White House, Guidance to HR

Having flipped the calendar over to a new year, here’s a look back at some of the developments in trade secrets and restrictive covenants that shaped the law in 2016. Some major developments came not from the courts, but from the legislative and executive branches—both federal and state.
Continue reading

Illinois Non-Compete Ban for Low-Wage Workers Goes into Effect January 1, 2017

Illinois, Non-Compete, Illinois Freedom to Work Act

Illinois employers have a new law to be mindful of beginning this new year. That’s when the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (the “Act”) goes into effect banning the use of non-compete agreements with low-wage employees. 

The Act prohibits employers from entering into “covenants not to compete” with “low-wage employees” after January 1, 2017, and declares void any covenant entered into in violation of the Act. The new law does not apply to covenants not to compete entered into before January 1st. Continue reading

The Illinois AG’s Suit Against Jimmy John’s On Non-Competes – What It Means For Employers

Jimmy John's, Non-Compete

The Illinois Attorney General filed suit in June 2016 against Jimmy John’s for its use of non-competes with low-wage workers. This suit – which appears to be the first of its kind – alleges Jimmy John’s use of non-competes violates Illinois law and hurts Illinois residents and businesses by limiting the pool of available workers and artificially suppressing wages.

Continue reading