In general, covenants not to compete involve an employee in the state of Illinois who agrees not to work for competitors of their employer when they leave the company. Such covenants are often called "non-compete" clauses". Employees who sign them can either receive compensation or simply be required to agree as a condition for their employment.

When are Covenants not to Compete Unenforceable?

Foreseeing whether or not a judge will uphold a covenant not to compete is generally difficult. Although the interests of employers are significant, courts in Illinois also give importance to an employee's freedom to choose the type of employment that they desire. As a result, courts usually uphold only those covenants that are consider to be reasonable according to the circumstances. Those agreements that courts have seen to be unreasonable include those that last for an prolonged period of time or cover geographic areas around Willow Springs that are unreasonably large.

The agreements must also deal only with those competitors whose line of employment is reasonably related to the previous employer's. Finally, there must be a valid business interest which motivates the employer's mandating a covenant not to compete.

Do I Need an Attorney when Dealing with a Covenant not to Compete?

A Willow Springs, Illinois lawyer can help you review the covenant before you sign any documents that might limit your rights. The lawyer can help you in negotiating modifications or if needed, they can possibly draft a new agreement which will be acceptable to both parties. A lawyer can also render useful advice for employers who are contemplating suing an employee for breach of covenant, or they can counsel employees who have signed such an agreement.