Non-Competes and Non-Disclosures

In an ideal world, your best, most valuable employees would never have any reason to stop working for you and there would never be any need for something like a non-compete agreement. Of course the realities of the business world are much different, with members of today's workforce being more mobile and less likely to stay at any one company for a very long time.

The end result: Non-compete agreements and other types of restrictive covenants have become increasingly common, indispensable tools for employers who want to prevent the competition from gaining any unfair advantage.

Additionally, when drafted correctly, companies can use non-disclosure (or confidentiality) agreements to prohibit past or present employees from disclosing their employer's sensitive information.

Unfortunately, it is also very easy and common for employers to make mistakes that make these contracts unenforceable.

At Benckendorf & Benckendorf, P.C., our lawyers draft legally sound, enforceable non-compete agreements for business clients throughout the central Illinois region. To learn more about this topic and what our attorneys can do to protect your interests as an employer, call any of our three office locations or contact us online to set up an appointment.

A Sampling of the Issues

Because they are generally disfavored by courts, there are several issues to be aware of with regard to non-compete agreements.

First, non-compete agreements are not appropriate for every employee. In other words, if you do not have a legitimate business interest at stake such as protecting trade secrets, customer goodwill or employee relationships — the agreement may not withstand a legal challenge.

Second, there's the problem of overreaching. Employers often fall prey to the temptation of trying to restrict too much with their employee agreements. In these cases, courts will almost always side with the employee and invalidate the agreement in its entirety. For this reason, it is important to only restrict those activities that affect your legitimate business interests and to only go as far as you need to in doing so.

A third type of problem arises when employers want to have an existing employee sign a non-compete. Generally speaking, if you asking someone who is already working for you to sign such an agreement — you should also consider offering that employee some type of compensation in exchange.

Last, be consistent in enforcing these agreements. If you allow some employees to violate the terms of these contracts without challenge — you will be less likely to find sympathy or a favorable court ruling later on.

We Do It Right. Our Clients Deserve It.

These are just a few of the important issues to keep in mind with regard to non-competes and other employment law agreements.

To schedule a consultation with an attorney — call any one of our three central Illinois office locations or contact us online.

Peoria: 309.265.0812 / Morton: 309.938.4296 / Eureka: 309-265-0812