Illinois non-compete agreements: More employers want them

As the job market continues to improve, many employees around the country and in Illinois who have stayed in a job due to the recession are once again beginning to look elsewhere. In order to combat this new trend, more companies are requiring employees to sign non-compete agreements than ever before. The agreements aren't just for executives and sales positions, they are also for those in technology and medical fields. There are even agreements popping up in service industries.

Companies have to be careful in drafting these agreements, however. As more and more employees are challenging these agreements in court, several states are looking to amend legislation regarding non-compete agreements. The goal of many of these agreements is to protect proprietary information of the employee's company.

However, many courts are beginning to question whether a non-compete agreement is appropriate if that is the true aim of the business requiring the agreement. There are some that are of the opinion that non-solicitation or non-disclosure agreements would achieve this goal without restricting an employee's right to move to another employer. There is also concern that restricting an employee's movements could ultimately hurt the economy.

Illinois businesses have the right to require their employees to sign non-compete agreements, and many courts are still willing to enforce agreements that have broad language. However, if the amount of these agreements continues to increase, courts may begin to limit their use. It may be beneficial for any company that requires non-compete agreements to review those documents with a professional to ensure they will stand up in court.

Source:, "More firms requiring non-compete agreements," Jonnelle Marte, July 8, 2013

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