Restrictive Covenant

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Restrictive Covenant

I am currently contracting for a company that I have been working for since September 2016 at the same client. I have the possibility to change vendors, and make a significant amount more doing the same work. Am I able to end my contract with my current contracting company and switch to a different vendor without facing a penalty? Based on what I’ve researched Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services it seems I shouldn’t face a penalty as I have worked more than 2 years to provide adequate considerations to my current contracting company.

Asked on March 27, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you don't have a written contract for a specific or defined period of time (e.g. a 3-year contract) which is still in effect (not expired), you can stop working for them at any time without penalty: only a written contract obligating you for a set time prevents you from changing employment at will.
If you do have a still-in-effect contract for a defined time, then if you breach your contract and leave early, IF your doing so provably causes a loss or expense to your employer (e.g. you leave in the middle of a project and to meet their deadlines, they have to hire a temp through an agency at a premium; they suffer a loss in the form of the difference between what they paid you and what they have to pay the agency and temp), they could potentially sue you for the amount your breach cost them.


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