Illinois Post-Employment Agreements Lawyer
In most industries, when an employee resigns or is terminated, that’s all there is to it. The employee moves on, and the company continues without worry. In many situations, however, protecting your interests as a business requires winding down an employee in a thorough, safe, and well-thought-out manner. For instance, you might want to prevent your former employee from disclosing your valuable corporate secrets, or from working with a direct competitor and undermining your customer and client base. Termination might also involve negotiation of a parting salary and other forms of compensation.
To protect your interests, your reputation, and your company’s future, it’s vital to work with a seasoned post-employment agreement attorney. The Illinois employment law attorneys at MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle are ready to assist. We’ll help you draft standard agreements to wind down most employees, negotiate specific terms with employees and officers that merit additional consideration, and ensure that you are protected from financial harm and unexpected liability down the line.
Comprehensive Assistance in Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Post-Employment Agreements
The seasoned Illinois post-employment agreements attorneys at MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle have decades of experience helping businesses protect their interests at all stages of the employment process. We’ll work with you to explore your options for protecting your valued assets, ensuring that your separation agreements include all elements necessary to mitigate the risk of financial loss and liability down the line.
We’ll help you draft general agreements that comport with Illinois law while still serving your company’s interests, negotiate agreements with specific employees, officers, or directors, and enforce the terms of any existing agreement should a former employee step out of line. We provide comprehensive service regarding any and all post-employment agreements and covenants, including with regard to the following:
- Non-compete agreements/covenants not to compete
- Severance agreements
- Non-solicitation agreements
- Separation agreements
- Nondisclosure agreements (NDAs)
- Confidentiality agreements
- Release of rights
- Agreements pertaining to the use or disclosure of trade secrets
- Garden leave clauses (agreements instructing employees to refrain from working while remaining on the payroll)
- Restrictive covenants pertaining to the acquisition or sale of a business
- Agreements for the employee not to reapply for the same employer (e.g., as part of a workers’ compensation settlement)
Recent Limitations on Non-Compete Agreements
Non-compete and non-disclosure agreements are a standard part of doing business in the modern era. They serve to protect you from a former employee carrying your trade secrets, your customer lists, your client relationships, and other valued business assets to a direct competitor. Although non-compete agreements can be enforceable, there are limitations. In particular, since January 1, 2022, the Freedom to Work Act has placed additional restrictions on non-compete agreements that all Illinois employers should keep in mind.
First of all, the Act sets minimum salary requirements for non-compete agreements to be enforceable. Non-compete covenants are now only enforceable against employees who earn at least $75,000 per year. Customer and coworker non-solicit agreements are prohibited for employees earning less than $45,000. Those salary minimums will rise every few years to adjust for inflation.
The Act flat-out prohibits non-compete agreements for certain types of employees. Non-competes are prohibited for construction workers unless their job duties are primarily managerial, architectural, engineering, or sales-oriented. The Act also prohibits non-competes with employees who are part of a collective bargaining agreement (i.e., unionized workers).
The law further prohibits the use of non-compete agreements for employees who were terminated, furloughed, or laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or similar circumstances. Such agreements can only be entered into if the employee is fully compensated for the term of the non-compete period–meaning compensation equal to the employee’s base salary, less any compensation the employee earns from subsequent employment.
The Freedom to Work Act places certain additional rules and limitations around non-compete agreements, including notice and review requirements, a reasonableness test for the scope of the agreement, and other matters. Talk to a knowledgeable Illinois non-compete agreement attorney to discuss your options and ensure that your business is protected following the departure of an employee.
Call Today for Trusted Advice and Representation Regarding Illinois Post-Employment Agreements
It is vital to determine if an agreement will stand up in a court of law and to ensure that your rights remain protected by the contract you sign. Contact a post-employment agreement lawyer from MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle for assistance in reviewing and creating your Illinois employment contracts and separation agreements, in Hoffman Estates at 847-310-0025, and in Des Plaines at 847-298-5030.