How enforceable are non-competes

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How enforceable are non-competes

My employer in Illinois has a 30 mile non
compete radius. Which means I wouldn’t be
able to do the job I was most recently doing
without a hellish commute. If I am unable to
take another job because of that, it would put
considerable financial hardship on myself, my
wife and our 2 year old daughter. Can I take a
job within this radius? How enforceable is the
radius of a non-compete?

Asked on June 1, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A non-competition agreement is legally enforceable in your state. While they cannot be too long (unless you were an owner who sold the company, generally 6 months to 1 year is the maximum enforced) or too broad geographically, 30 miles is probably not too wide an area; 30 miles, or a (typically) 45 to 60 minute commute, is not considered exessive in labor law. The hardship on your family is irrelevant: the law does not let one party to an agreement, including a non-compete, get out of it because it would cause a "hardship" (since otherwise, whomever is negatively affected by a contract could always get out of it, and contracts would be meaningless).


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