Will my current employers non-compete agreement prevent me from continuing to work in this industy?

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Will my current employers non-compete agreement prevent me from continuing to work in this industy?

I currently have on file a non-compete agreement with my current employer stating that I am unable to go to work for a competitors in any state in which this company does business for a 12 month period. Is this a realistic agreement that can be upheld. I am a multi-unit manager with the current employer, I would like to be a multi-unit manager for the other.

Asked on June 22, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, Illinois courts do not look favorably on non-compete agreement and first off consider them void as against public policy.  However, the courts have recognized that an employer ha a right to protect trade secrets and if the employee - you - has access to those trade secrets then you can be limited through a non-compete.  The courts in many jurisdictions have also looked at the totality of the agreement: the length of time and how far reaching (5 miles, 10 miles, etc.)  The facts as you have presented them here do not lead me to believe that you are protecting any trade secrets but even if you were AND ststae for that length of time is way too restrictive to me.  I think that it would be struck down or limited.  But bring it to someone to read.  Good  luck. 


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