Lawyer Assisting Employers and Employees With Restrictive Covenants in Downers Grove and Lombard
A business’s employment contracts serve as important tools that can provide a company with protection against losses and liabilities, while also ensuring that employees understand their rights and responsibilities. Non-compete agreements are important elements of these contracts, but they must meet certain requirements in order to be enforceable. Employers and employees should work with an experienced business law attorney to understand how these types of agreements affect them and ensure that their rights are protected.
Shakfeh Law LLC provides dedicated legal representation to businesses and employees, and we can work with you to review your employment contracts and determine how they affect you. Attorney Danya Shakfeh has more than 10 years of experience, and as a business owner, she knows the importance of addressing contractual issues correctly. Whether you need to create or negotiate an employment contract or resolve contract disputes, she can provide the legal help you need.
Understanding Non-Compete Agreements
A non-compete agreement is often included in an employment contract or severance agreement, and a “covenant not to compete” may also be a part of other types of contracts. These clauses will state that an employee will not conduct business that directly competes with the employer during or after their employment. These agreements may also incorporate non-solicitation clauses that state that an employee will not attempt to hire others who work for the employer or offer competing services to the employer’s customers.
Non-compete agreements are known as “restrictive covenants,” since they place restrictions on an employee. To be valid and enforceable, these agreements must meet certain requirements, including:
- Consideration – An employee must receive something of value in return for agreeing to the restrictions placed on them. For example, an employment agreement may offer a certain amount of pay that a former employee will receive if they agree not to compete with the former employer. In Illinois, two years of employment may serve as sufficient consideration.
- Duration – The agreement will specify the amount of time an employee is restricted from engaging in competitive activities.
- Location – Restrictions on an employee may only apply within a certain geographical area. For example, an agreement may restrict an employee from starting a new business or working for a competitor within the same state as the employer, or it may define a certain radius surrounding the employer where the agreement will be effective.
- Types of activities – The agreement may define the specific competitive activities an employee is restricted from performing, such as working for a business in the same industry as the employer or using certain proprietary processes.
- Reasonableness – An employer must demonstrate that its restrictions are reasonable and protect a legitimate business interest.
While non-compete agreements can help a company protect its trade secrets and ensure that former employees do not act in a way that causes financial harm to the business, these clauses must be fair and reasonable. If an agreement places unreasonable restrictions on an employee, it may not be enforceable. For example, a non-compete agreement that lasts for an extended amount of time or covers a very large geographical area may be too restrictive or unreasonable. Agreements that place unnecessary restraints on a person’s ability to earn an income will likely not hold up to a legal challenge.
Contact Our Oak Brook Non-Compete Agreement Lawyer
At Shakfeh Law LLC, we represent both employers and employees in cases involving non-compete agreements. We can review these agreements before they are signed to ensure that both parties’ rights are protected. We can also provide representation in disputes regarding the enforcement of these agreements. For legal help with employment contracts, contact us or call us at 630-517-5529. We represent clients in Cook and DuPage Counties, including Elmhurst, Willowbrook, Oak Brook, Burr Ridge, Lombard, Chicago, Villa Park, Downers Grove, and Hinsdale.