The Illinois Freedom To Work Act: The Beginning of the End for Non-Competes in Illinois?

gw_adminEmployment Law, Justice In Geneva, Non-Compete

As state and federal courts in Illinois continue to wrestle with enforcing post-employment, non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants, such as non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements, definitive action on these common employment agreements recently came from an unlikely source – the state legislature. On August 19, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law the Illinois Freedom To Work Act. The Illinois Freedom To Work Act declares all “covenant[s] not to compete” entered into between an employer and “low-wage employee” as illegal and void. The statute went into effect on January 1, 2017, in the wake Illinois Attorney General’s 2016 lawsuit against the sandwich company, Jimmy John’s, concerning Jimmy John’s alleged practice of forcing its restaurant workers to sign non-competes. Given the … Read More

Bonus Payments-Earned or Not?

gw_adminEmployment Law, Justice In Geneva

As the end of the year approaches, employers are preparing to reward employees with year-end and performance bonuses and make important human resource decisions relative to employee retention. Similarly, employees view the year-end as a time to explore transition to new positions. Conflicts often arise with respect to the payment of bonus compensation when an employee leaves or is terminated at years-end. Employers commonly take the position that former employees are no longer entitled to receive a bonus as they are no longer employed. While this might be true relative to a discretionary bonus, it does not always hold true for performance or guaranteed bonuses. Once earned, a bonus, whether commission-based or otherwise, is viewed in the law as earned … Read More

Uncertainty Surrounding Non-Compete Agreements in Illinois

gw_adminEmployment Law, Justice In Geneva, Non-Compete

Employers frequently have employees sign non-compete agreements to prevent them from going to work for a competitor. In 2013, the Illinois State Appellate Court for the First District of Illinois issued a decision that seriously questions the enforceability of such agreements in certain situations. The Court’s decision in Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services, 2013 IL App (1st) 120327 (1st Dist. 2013), involved an employee who worked for the subsidiary of an insurance company that was spun off and then acquired by another firm. The employee was terminated as a result of the sale, but then immediately offered a job if he signed an agreement not to work for a competitor for two years after termination of employment. The Court held … Read More