When entering into the employment domain, covenants are imposed on employees restricting what they can and cannot do once they leave the job. Violations and restrictions are what employers often look for when they wish to seek enforceability of a contract that was entered into when employees decide to move elsewhere. Typically, such agreements prohibit competing with an former employer for a certain period after the employee has left the business, or prevents the ex-employee from soliciting or dealing with customers of the business by using knowledge of those customers gained.
Non compete clauses are in often in place for businesses to protect their investments in business and to not have employees turn around and share information that may be valuable in another employment setting. That is why the wording of non compete agreements is important. However, more and more businesses are now laying off employees.
It could be speculated that since more and more businesses are now laying off employees, that this is one of the reasons as to why Massachusetts legislature passed a bill that would require companies in the state to give employees some kind of compensation for up to a year after leaving if they decide to enforce a non-compete agreement. Another reason is that workers could also end up for months without a paycheck from either a previous employer and by not being able to work for a competitor. At least now, there is some form of relief and compensation until enforceability of the non-compete agreement is made.
When it comes to Massachusetts, the clause known as a “garden leave clause” provides pay for of at least 50% of the employee’s highest base salary over the prior two years, or other mutually-agreed upon consideration. Though the law does give some room for “other mutually-agreed upon consideration” leaving some level of flexibility.
As it stands, Massachusetts has become one of the first states to offer this kind of relief for employees. This change may encourage others states to enact reforms. Another change of note is allowing employees to review the agreements prior to signature and relieving laid off employees from the non-compete’s restrictions.
An agreement can be deemed null and void or certain provisions within can be. This is pretty much the same as it was before. It’s impact and affect is yet to be tested.
Our Chicago and Oak Brook non-compete agreement attorneys have defended high-level executives in a covenant not to compete and trade secret lawsuits. A case in which our firm defended a former Motorola executive was covered in Crain’s Chicago Business. You can view that article by clicking here.
Lubin Austermuehle a firm of Chicago business dispute lawyers handles litigation over non-compete clauses for individuals and businesses of all sizes, including small or closely held businesses for whom competition from an ex-employee can be a serious threat. Our Chicago business lawyers with offices near Evanston and Skokie have substantial experience in restrictive covenant and breach of contract cases, and we are proud of our record of strong results. We have successfully represented a number of doctors in non-compete, partnership, and other business disputes. We understand the complexities of physician partnership and non-compete agreements.
Lubin Austermuehle a Chicago business litigation law firm represents both plaintiffs and defendants in such cases, and can also help stop litigation before it starts by reviewing contracts to look for covenants and clauses that could create problems later. Our firm has also handled many shareholders and LLC disputes between owners of closely held corporations, and LLCs.
Based in Oakbrook Terrace and downtown Chicago, our Joliet and Elgin non-compete agreement and business dispute lawyers take cases from Skokie and Lincolnwood and many other cities throughout Illinois, as well as in Indiana, Wisconsin and the entire United States. To learn more or set up a free consultation, please contact one of our Chicago business dispute lawyers through the Internet or call toll-free at 630-333-0333 today.
Lubin Austermuehle’s Evanston and Wilmette non-compete agreement litigation attorneys have more than three decades of experience helping clients unravel the complexities of Illinois and out-of-state non-compete and trade secret theft laws. Our Chicago business dispute attorneys also represent individuals, family businesses and enterprises of all sizes in a variety of legal disputes, including disputes among partners, shareholders, and LLC members as well as lawsuits between businesses and consumer rights, auto fraud, and wage claim individual and class action cases. In every case, our goal is to resolve disputes as quickly and successfully as possible, helping business clients protect their investments and get back to business as usual. From offices in Oak Brook, near Highland Park and Lake Forest, we serve clients throughout Illinois and the Midwest.