In Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services, Inc., an Illinois Appellate Court determined that, absent other consideration, at-will employment must continue for two years in order to constitute consideration for the enforcement of competition restrictions. Clients continue to ask how Fifield has been applied by subsequent courts. So far, the results have been mixed. This month, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois rejected Fifield’s bright line test in the case of Bankers Life and Casualty Co. v. Miller, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14337 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 6, 2015). In doing so, Judge Shah explained that in light of the Illinois Supreme Court’s recent decision emphasizing the need to consider the totality of the circumstances in evaluating competition restrictions, the Illinois Supreme Court “would not adopt a bright-line rule requiring continued employment for at least two years in all cases.” Bankers Life, at *11-12. Previously, Judge Castillo too rejected Fifield’s bright-line test in Montel Aetnastak, Inc. v. Miessen, 998 F. Supp. 2d 694 (N.D. Ill. 2014). However, Judge Holderman reached a different result in Instant Technology, LLC v. Defazio, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61232 (N.D. Ill. May 2, 2014) and determined that competition restrictions were not enforceable against employees who had worked for 10, 19, and 21 months and received only that employment as consideration for the restrictions. Instant Technology is currently on appeal. So far, however, the score in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is 2-1 against Fifield’s bright-line test.
Monthly Archives: February 2015
In a case emphasizing the importance of acting in good faith in the interactive process and how an employer can do it right, on February 13, 2015, the First Circuit denied the EEOC’s petition for a rehearing en banc of the court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit brought against Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. by a diabetic former employee who claimed that her erratic working hours were exacerbating her condition. EEOC v. Kohl’s Dep’t Stores, Inc., 774 F.3d 127 (1st Cir. 2014), reh’g en banc denied (Feb. 13, 2015).
Pamela Manning, a former sales associate at Kohl’s, had type I diabetes. For two years, she worked predictable shifts as a full-time sales associate. Following a restructuring of the staffing system nationwide in January 2010, however, Manning began working a schedule with unpredictable shifts, including some night shifts followed by day shifts (in Kohl’s parlance, “swing shifts”). Manning alleged that the new schedule aggravated her diabetes.
I could not be more excited to announce that today, the Intellectual Property Specialty group of the International Lawyers Network is launching their first collaborative blog (indeed the ILN’s first collaborative blog period!) – ILN IP Insider!
It’s been a labor of love with myself and our dedicated IP lawyers from around the world, to put together this resource for the latest in global intellectual property trends.
The cyber threat is real and growing every day, and finding solutions will require partnership and collaboration. President Barack Obama and leaders from technology, law enforcement, industry, Congress, and education recently convened at the Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University to work together and explore partnerships that will help develop the best ways to bolster cybersecurity. The most resounding statement of the day, which truly identifies the scope of cyber threats: “Everybody is online, and everybody is vulnerable.”
Collaboration is needed between the government, tech companies, and private companies, which were each identified as necessary partners in the fight against cyber crime.
With funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) set to expire at midnight Friday, House and Senate lawmakers have spent this week scrambling to find a workable full-year funding solution that averts a partial government shutdown.
Unable to devise a full-year spending bill that reverses the president’s executive order on immigration, Republican lawmakers have pivoted their strategy to a clean short-term continuing resolution that would fund the Department through March 19.
The Council of Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division (NAD) has recommended that, as a result of a complaint filed by Expedia, two online travel sites change several aspects of their search engine marketing (SEM) to avoid misleading consumers. While SEM is a common and long-standing practice, the NAD’s decision emphasizes that there are still emerging issues that companies engaged in this type of marketing should observe.
Expedia filed a challenge with the NAD alleging that the SEM practices of Fareportal Inc., the operator of travel sites CheapOair.com and OneTravel.com, were misleading.
This morning, Carmen Tham presented at a Canadian Bar Association Law Series on insurance developments. The webinar included other key speakers and offered attendees great value through perspectives from all over Canada.
DHS Extends Eligibility for Employment Authorization to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrants
On February 24, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule that extends eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status. H-4 spouses who fit the eligibility criteria will be able to apply for employment authorization starting on May 26, 2015.
Read the full Client Alert here.
Ms. Buntin concentrates her practice on intellectual property. She focuses on domestic and foreign patent prosecution, trademark prosecution, as well as trademark clearance, policing and enforcement.
Ms. Buntin received her B.A. from Vassar College in 2008 and her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – William S. Boyd School of Law in 2011. She is a member of the American and Clark County Bar Associations as well as the Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Nevada. Ms. Buntin is licensed to practice in the State of Nevada as well as before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the United States District Court for the District of Nevada. More…