Court Voids Noncompetes for New Employees in Illinois

A state appellate court ruled recently that workers without employment contracts cannot be stopped from going to work for a rival until they reached their second anniversary on the job, unless they sign a noncompete agreement and receive something in return besides the job itself.   Illinois employers or employers who want to work in Illinois are advised by their labor lawyers to reassess work agreements and pay additional compensation or bonus to their newest workers in order for them not to leave for an employer’s competitor.  The court ruled that even if a noncompete agreement was a condition of getting hired and the employee quit, the agreement could be enforced only if there had been two years of employment or some other consideration.  This rule is one of the most rigid out of all the states and without a doubt will create headaches for Illinois employers.