Time To Review Your Employment Agreements!
Courts are now scrutinizing all post-employment restrictions with a fine tooth comb. In the past, non-competition clauses received the most scrutiny. Now, confidentiality provisions and non-solicitations of employees and customers may be unenforceable if they are drafted too broadly.
A recent decision from an Illinois appellate court in Assured Partners, Inc. v. Schmitt, made clear that broad stroke or generalized confidentiality and non-solicitation-of-employee provisions–which were previously given greater leniency— are unenforceable in Illinois and struck the provisions in their entirety. The agreement at issue in the case, which was between the employer and a high-level sales person, was especially criticized for seeking to restrict the former employee’s interactions with potential customers and vendors, because the Court believed such restrictions would make it impossible for the employee to find replacement employment. The Court even refused to modify the clauses to comply with the law because the clauses were too general and overbroad.
Restrictive covenants continue to be a changing area of the law. If your own agreements have not been updated recently, they are likely obsolete.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact an employment attorney at Golan & Christie.