Employment Law

I have a non compete which revolves around our executive compensation…

This answer was rated:
I have a non compete...
I have a non compete which revolves around our executive compensation plan. I was laid off January 1, 2012, and the non compete is for three years, with two more payouts yet to come. Though I entered as IT, I elevated to Executive VP, and now I'm kind of pigeon holed in that arena, no longer qualified to advertise myself as an IT guru, and been... Read full answer
I have a non compete which revolves around our executive compensation plan. I was laid off January 1, 2012, and the non compete is for three years, with two more payouts yet to come. Though I entered as IT, I elevated to Executive VP, and now I'm kind of pigeon holed in that arena, no longer qualified to advertise myself as an IT guru, and been involved in operations and all administrative functions. I have a 100 mile radius of downtown Chicago. I've received offers from within the industry, but my previous company told them they would take them to court. I have a possible opportunity from another competitor, however they are a national company, and the position could be for regional director of operations. Does this seem like a violation of non compete? If I go to litigation and lose, I will have to pay both sides of the legal costs.
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/4/2013
Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33,167
Experience: JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
Verified

Hello and welcome.

I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service. First, I have some questions for you so I can determine what information to provide you.


Does the non-compete agreement indicate that the prevailing party will be entitled to attorney's fees from the other party? Where would the regional director position be based from, within the 100 mile radius?
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 6 years ago

They multiple locations, and yes, one of them could be within the 100 mile radius of Chicago


Yes, if I lose I will be responsible for the company's legal expenses as well.

I see. Thank you for the additional information, Paul. Yes, the prevailing party provision normally would be enforceable if the non-compete if found to be enforceable, which it likely is if the employer can articulate a legitimate business interest they wish to protect.

There is a lot of gray area with regard to the enforcement of non-compete agreements, but at least one IL court has upheld a 100 mile radius provision and IL law does not even require a specific geographic area in the contract as some states normally do.

To be enforceable, the terms must normally be reasonable and necessary to protect certain business interests of the employer such as customer relationships or trade secrets. Factors considered when determining reasonableness include the hardship an agreement puts on the former employee, its effect on the general public and the restrictions placed on time, territory and activity of the former employee.

So if the contract prevents you from engaging work in your chosen profession, that would typically be weighed against the employer's state interest which they wish to protect. If the employer's interest is limited, that would typically weigh in the employee's favor in determining whether to enforce the contract.

Here is a link that discusses the factors an IL court will normally consider:

http://www.lawserver.com/law/articles/non-competition-agreements-in-illinois

If you can make a good argument that the employer does not have a legitimate business interest here, you may wish to retain a local employment law attorney to communicate with the employer in an attempt to obtain a release or written statement from the employer indicating that they will not pursue legal action with regard to this specific position.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you.

It has been my pleasure to assist you. Kindly remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested. If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to explain your concern to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to you or not, so please don’t shoot the messenger. Thank you and all the best to you in 2013.

Tina

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-tina/

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 6 years ago

Do you feel that I could be based inside the 100 mile radius providing I work for the branches outside of the given area? Also, do you think I could work as a consultant, or contract work, for comanies within the industry providing my work does not involve divulging any trade secrets? Most of the non-compete revolves around trade secrets I could disclose, in which case I could be liable for any loss of business.

Hello again,

Yes, you could be based inside the 100 mile radius if the work you perform is outside the stated area. A court would normally interpret the language of the contract to discern the intent of the parties in order to determine that.

If the contract does not distinguish between working as an employee or a consultant, it would not normally matter what status you have, but whether you are violating the plain terms of the contract. You probably signed a confidentiality agreement as well, but the non-compete could restrict you from working inside the 100 mile radius as well.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you.

It has been my pleasure to assist you. Kindly remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested. If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to explain your concern to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to you or not, so please don’t shoot the messenger. Thank you and all the best to you in 2013.

Tina

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-tina/

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 6 years ago

One last question. Most of the verbage revolves around the disclosure of trade secrets (which quite frankly don't exist in my opinion - its a transportation company and everyone already knows each others customers...). In your opinion with the limited amount of info I've given you, would it be possible for me to work within the 100 mile radius for a competitor providing I don't divulge any trade secrets?

Hello again, Paul.

The lack of trade secrets would typically go to the heart of your argument that the non-compete agreement should not be enforceable against you if what you know is public knowledge. That would normally prevent the employer from enforcing the agreement against you, even inside the 100 mile radius.

Only a release from the employer would ensure they do not take legal action against you, even if their case is weak.
Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33,167
Experience: JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
Verified
Tina and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 6 years ago


Thank you. You've been great.

You are very welcome, Paul. Please remember to provide me with a positive rating so I will be compensated for my time. Thank you and good luck to you!
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Still looking for an answer to your question? 
Similar Q&As
Looking for clarity on a non-compete agreement with my
Looking for clarity on a non-compete agreement with my current employer … read more
Ray
Ray
Employment lawyer,
Doctoral Degree
2,938 satisfied customers
Non-compete in Florida what is the enforceable radius? the
Non-compete in Florida what is the enforceable radius? the agreement says 75-150 mile radius depending on what the state you are in finds reasonable … read more
Lori
Lori
Juris Doctor
6,121 satisfied customers
I'm evaluating a Director-rank job offer with a consumer
I'm evaluating a Director-rank job offer with a consumer health insurance marketplace provider in Chicago. My current employer is a corporate wellness company that's is both owned by and closely partn… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney/Landlord/Realtor,
Doctoral Degree
42,278 satisfied customers
Stop searching for answers—
I am considering accepting a job with a new company shortly.
I am considering accepting a job with a new company shortly. I have an active non-compete that I do not believe will affect this agreement. I am a consultant and my agreement specifies the following: … read more
Sam
Sam
Attorney,
Doctoral Degree
10,701 satisfied customers
I have a non-compete in place that I signed after 6 years of
I have a non-compete in place that I signed after 6 years of employment because my employer hassled me about it. They have now decreased my pay by 40%. Does this void my non-compete because I can no l… read more
Sam
Sam
Attorney,
Doctoral Degree
10,701 satisfied customers
I am currently employed as a lighting installer and have a
I am currently employed as a lighting installer and have a non compete that states I cannot work for a competitor for 12 months and with 10 miles after I leave employment. I have been offered the oppr… read more
JBaxLaw
JBaxLaw
Attorney,
Doctoral Degree
8,080 satisfied customers
Get a personalized answer to your question. 
Is my non compete legally enforceable in NJ? I worked for
Is my non compete legally enforceable in NJ? I worked for a company as Director of Marketing for almost 7 years. I was laid off as part of a company wide restructuring at the end of March. In part, it… read more
Loren
Loren
39,723 satisfied customers
How do I create a non-compete agreement (separate from an employment
How do I create a non-compete agreement (separate from an employment contract) for my employees in a media company? I want them to not work in a similar capacity for a competing media company in our a… read more
Jack R.
Jack R.
Partner,
Juris Doctor
6,136 satisfied customers
Hello Sir, if you could help me with a question about my fathers
Hello Sir, if you could help me with a question about my father's nail salon in Chicago. He sold it to a lady in August 2010. In the contract, there is a non-compete clause saying he was not allowed t… read more
wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter
Attorney,
Doctoral Degree
11,809 satisfied customers
Still looking for an answer to your question? 
My employer has a non compete for Adminstrative employee only.
My employer has a non compete for Adminstrative employee only. It states that you cannot work for their competitor within a 50 mile radius. Is it legal in Alabama?… read more
Isaac, Esq.
Isaac, Esq.
Attorney at Law,
Doctoral Degree
39,074 satisfied customers
My husband is 50 yrs. old and in the flooring industry in Tennessee
My husband is 50 yrs. old and in the flooring industry in Tennessee for over 25 years. In 2005, he was told to sign a non-compete agreement.My husband and all other employees of the small company felt… read more
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Employment Lawyer,
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
13,841 satisfied customers
Hello, I was laid off 10/22/09 due to a legitmate, non-discriminatory
Hello, I was laid off 10/22/09 due to a legitmate, non-discriminatory business resons as a part of a reduction and reorganazation in workforce. I signed a non complet in June of 07. I have been a High… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner,
Doctoral Degree
66,909 satisfied customers
Stop searching for answers—
I spent 7+ years with Company A as a top sales performer. After
I spent 7+ years with Company A as a top sales performer. After taking a year off, I was recruited by a competitor, Company B, to start a sales office for them. I signed a 12-month non-compete with Co… read more
Roger
Roger
Litigation Attorney,
Doctoral Degree
27,169 satisfied customers
My husband was hired in VA as vice president of sales of a
My husband was hired in VA as vice president of sales of a bedding manufacturer. We reside in PA. My husband's job was eliminated 6/27/08, and was not filled by anyone else. My husband has a non-compe… read more
Roger
Roger
Litigation Attorney,
Doctoral Degree
27,169 satisfied customers
A former employee (who is presently bound by our non-compete
A former employee (who is presently bound by our non-compete agreement) went to work for a competitor. I may buy some product from this company. The company is concerned that this transaction might vi… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner,
Doctoral Degree
66,909 satisfied customers
Get a personalized answer to your question. 
How strong are non-compete contracts Mine says I cannot work
How strong are non-compete contracts? Mine says I cannot work for a competitor for the next year, but the new job I've been offered is in a different division of one of our competitors. Even though th… read more
OnPointLegal
OnPointLegal
J.D.
258 satisfied customers
I am currently employed (Contract Security) as the ...
I am currently employed (Contract Security) as the director of public safety for a small university. I am looking at the possibility of moving on to another competing security company as the director … read more
legaleagle
legaleagle
Attorney,
Doctoral Degree
7,048 satisfied customers
I was just told that my advertising sales job was being ...
I was just told that my advertising sales job was being eliminated. I have a "non-compete within a 200-mile area for one year" clause in my employment agreement. Does this mean I can not work in my in… read more
Lawgirl
Lawgirl
Founder,
Doctoral Degree
4,606 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care.

MildredWashington, DC

Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you

Happy CustomerDenver, CO

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Allen M., Esq.

Allen M., Esq.

Employment Lawyer

13,841 satisfied customers

Employment/Labor Law Litigation

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

12,729 satisfied customers

Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law

JB Umphrey

JB Umphrey

Lawyer

6,273 satisfied customers

Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.

John

John

Employment Lawyer

4,293 satisfied customers

Exclusively practice labor and employment law.

ScottyMacEsq

ScottyMacEsq

Lawyer

3,526 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

Ray

Ray

Employment lawyer

2,938 satisfied customers

30 years in Employment law

AttorneyTom

AttorneyTom

Lawyer

2,469 satisfied customers

Attorney

< Previous | Next >

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less
Allen M, JD

Allen M, JD

Employment Lawyer

20 years of experience in Employment Law and Litigation

21,103 Satisfied Customers

Pearl avatarPearl, Assistant