What does the future hold for Illinois non-competition law?

Illinois law on the enforceability of restrictive covenants is fluid and, like most employment laws, ever-changing. New legislation that would radically change and codify Illinois non-competition law is pending in the Illinois General Assembly. House Bill 789, if enacted, would:

  1. provide that non-competition and non-solicitation agreements are invalid and unenforceable for any employee (i) whose annual income is below a certain level, or (ii) who is terminated because of COVID-19-related circumstances;
  2. require employers to advise employees to consult with their own legal counsel before signing restrictive covenant agreements; and
  3. make employers liable for attorneys’ fees incurred by employees who prevail in restrictive covenant enforcement litigation.

If House Bill 789 becomes law, Illinois employers should review and revise their restrictive covenant policies and agreements.