Articles Tagged with Chicago non-compete agreement and covenant not to compete lawyers and attorneys near Orland Park and Naperville

Non-compete agreements were initially intended to keep trade secrets safe. They originated in the tech industry where certain employees have the potential to take highly sensitive information with them when they leave the company. This could be disastrous to the company if employees decide to leave to work for a competitor and take all the confidential information they’ve been working with.

In order to prevent this from happening, companies had employees sign noncompete agreements (often as part of their employment agreement) stating they would not work for a direct competitor within a certain radius of the employer and a certain time frame (usually six months to a year).

Despite these sensible beginnings, employers of all industries have incorporated noncompete agreements into the employment contracts of just about all their workers. Even minimum wage employees on the bottom of the corporate ladder have been forbidden from working for a competitor. Continue reading ›

Legit Enough to Quit?
Restrictive Covenants and Legitimate Business Interests

As means of protecting ones business, it may seem that a restrictive covenant is one of the most secure. However, a restrictive covenant does not always provide the magnitude of protection wanted by those who enter into such an agreement. A three prong test of reasonableness must be satisfied. The covenant must serve a legitimate business interest, it must not impose an undue hardship and it must not be injurious to the public. Without a legitimate business interest, a restrictive covenant may not be enforceable.

A prime example of the necessity of a legitimate business interest to sustain a restrictive covenant can be seen in Gastroenterology Consultants of North Shore, S.C. v.  Meiselman, 2013 IL App (1st) 123692, 989 N.E.2d 1126 appeal denied, 996 N.E.2d 12 (Ill. 2013). To achieve such a result, the company enforcing the non-solicitation agreement must demonstrate a legitimate business interest exists for such an agreement.

The Court takes a close look at the enforceability of a restrictive covenant when a doctor enters into such an agreement upon Plaintiff and later decides to take his professional work elsewhere. Plaintiffs try to enforce their restrictive covenant; however, the Court determines that the absence of a “legitimate business interest” renders the covenant unenforceable. Continue reading ›

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