When do non-competes expire?

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2011

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When do non-competes expire?

I signed an employment contract with a 1 year non-compete over 2 years ago. Shortly after, I was told the owner placed a freeze on new hires. The company offered me a position as an independent sales rep with a contract containing a 60 day non-compete clause. Subsequently they hired me as a full-time employee and did not have me sign a new contract. Am I bound by either of these prior non-compete clauses?

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


Andrew T. Suszek / Suszek Law Offices

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the language of the contracts. Generally, non-compete clauses bar an employee from competing for a specified period of time after voluntarily leaving an employer. If you were laid-off or otherwise involuntarily dismissed from the contracts with the non-compete agreements, those provisions would no longer be in effect.

It sounds as though your second contract superceded your first one. It also sounds as though you had an oral agreement with your employer to supercede the second contract. If that is the case, then no non-compete clause is currently operable. However, a lawyer would have to see the text of the contracts and know exactly what was said when you were hired full-time to determine whether the earlier contracts were superceded or merely amended. If they were merely amended, a non-compete clause may still be in effect.

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