Noncompetes: Consideration, Peppered with Confusion
Suppose your client walks into your office and explains that he has been sued by his former employer for violation of a noncompete clause in his employment contract. Your client signed the noncompete a week after starting his employment and then worked for the employer for 23 months. Is the noncompete supported by adequate consideration? The answer could depend on the judge and court hearing the case.
A postemployment restrictive covenant must be supported by adequate consideration—generally characterized as “employment for a substantial period of time.” But what is a “substantial period of time”? May other forms of consideration be substituted? Does it matter if an employee quits or is terminated with or without cause? Illinois appellate courts have been unable to clearly answer these questions.
In the November 2018 Illinois Bar Journal, Hon. John C. Anderson, a circuit judge for the 12th Judicial Circuit of Illinois and chairman of the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee, reveals the perplexing history and awkward contradictions of various Illinois Appellate Court decisions on the meaning of employment consideration.
Read more in the November issue of the Illinois Bar Journal.