Illinois Noncompete Reform Balances Employee and Biz Interests


Peter A. Steinmeyer and Brian E. Spang, Members of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Chicago office, co-authored an article in Law360, titled “Illinois Noncompete Reform Balances Employee and Biz Interests.” (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt (see below to download the full version in PDF format):

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Illinois Legislature accomplished something truly remarkable: a comprehensive reform of noncompete and nonsolicit law that was passed unanimously by the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives.

The reform bill is not a complete ban, as some competing bills and employee advocates originally sought. And the bill is certainly not pro-enforcement, as many employers would prefer. Instead, it is that increasingly rare political creature: a compromise.

Why Is the Illinois Compromise Significant?

Attitudes toward restrictive covenants do not fit neatly into a red or a blue political litmus test, as there are competing interests recognized by persons on both sides of the political aisle. On the one hand, post-employment restrictive covenants are one of the most effective tools to protect confidential information, customer relationships, and a business's investment in itself and its employees.

Businesses in both red and blue states see the same color when it comes to protecting these interests: green. On the other hand, post-employment restrictive covenants impede employee mobility, and thereby clash with fundamental notions of individual liberty. …