Governor Pritzker Signs Illinois Noncompete Legislation Into Law

On August 13, 2021, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 672, an amendment to the Illinois Freedom to Work Act. While the law codifies substantive Illinois common law on restrictive covenants, it also sets forth new and important limitations and requirements regarding the use of noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements.

Illinois Legislature Passes Comprehensive Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Bill Anticipated to Be Signed by Governor Pritzker

The Illinois General Assembly recently approved House of Representatives Amendment 1 to Senate Bill (SB) 672, which would significantly reform noncompete and nonsolicitation law in Illinois. The bill will now go to Governor JB Pritzker, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

Illinois Renews Effort to Enact Expansive Restrictive Covenant Legislation

In 2016, Illinois enacted the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (IFWA). In doing so, it became one of the first states to pass legislation in response to the Obama administration’s Call to Action, which asked states to amend their restrictive covenant laws to, among other things, ban covenants not to compete for workers under a certain wage threshold.

Low-Wage Employees in Illinois Protected From Noncompetes Under New Law

On August 19, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill prohibiting noncompete agreements for low-wage employees. In addition to prohibiting most private-sector employers from entering into noncompetes with their low-wage employees, the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (the Act) renders “illegal and void” any “covenant not to compete entered into between an employer and a low-wage employee” after the effective date of January 1, 2017.

Five Questions You Should Ask About the Defend Trade Secrets Act

Until recently, the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (EEA) allowed for federal trade secret actions by the U.S. Department of Justice. The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) amended the EEA to provide private litigants the right to sue (and be sued) in federal court for trade secret misappropriation. The DTSA establishes a three-year statute of limitation and provides several remedies for successful plaintiffs, including injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and attorneys’ fees.

The Defend Trade Secrets Act Is Now Law

On May 11, 2016, President Barack Obama signed into law the long-awaited Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), which is effective immediately. Three key features of the DTSA include: (1) the creation of a federal private right of action for trade secret misappropriation; (2) a provision permitting ex parte civil seizure of property necessary to prevent the propagation or dissemination of trade secrets; and (3) a requirement that employers provide notice to employees of their immunities under the DTSA for making confidential disclosures to the government, in court filings, or in connection with whistleblower retaliation claims by employees against their employers.

Illinois Supreme Court’s Refusal to Review Restrictive Covenant Decision Leaves Employers with Uncertainty

The Illinois Supreme Court’s recent refusal to review the Illinois Appellate Court’s controversial decision in Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services, Inc., No. 1-12-0327, 2013 IL App (1st) 120327 (Jun. 24, 2013) leaves employers with uncertainty about the appropriate consideration to support employee  restrictive covenant agreements at hire. Fifield, redux As detailed in our July 15,

A Sea Change in the Illinois Restrictive Covenant Agreement Framework

As we previously discussed in our blog post, the “continued employment doctrine,” which is the majority view in Illinois, is that two years of continued employment after an employee enters a restrictive covenant is “substantial continued employment” that makes the agreement enforceable without any additional consideration (such as payment, promotion,…..

Watch Your Assets Part Two: Best Practices for Protecting Confidential Information

One of the primary reasons for using a restrictive covenant agreement is to protect a company’s confidential information and trade secrets. By implementing certain behaviors, a company can significantly enhance its chances of winning trade secret and/or confidentiality disputes later down the road. These behaviors are focused on ensuring that…..

Watch Your Assets! Using Injunctions to Protect Trade Secrets, Customers, Employees, and Good Will

In this series of blog posts we will examine the use of injunctive relief in state and federal courts in response to employees who have misappropriated confidential information and trade secrets, who solicit clients and employees, or who violate non-compete agreements. We will address strategic decisions that must be made…..