Tag Archives: Illinois appellate court

Illinois Appellate Courts Become Even More Divided Over The Appropriate Standard For Evaluating A Non-Compete Agreement

In October of 2009, the Illinois Court of Appeals for the Fourth District decided Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. v. Ehlers, 394 Ill. App. 3d 421 (4th Dist. 2009). In that opinion, the Court rejected the requirement that an employer must have a legitimate business interest in order to enforce a non-compete agreement — a requirement in Illinois Courts for decades. According to the Court in Sunbelt Rentals, an employer need only show that a non-compete agreement has a reasonable geographic limitation and lasts for a reasonable period of time in order to enforce that agreement. Since that decision, few courts have cited to Sunbelt Rentals and those that have cited to it have declined to squarely address whether it was correctly decided.

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Another Illinois Appellate Court Shows Greater Receptivity Toward No-Competes In Illinois

Readers of this blog know that, in October 2009, in Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. v. Ehlers, 333 Ill.Dec. 791, 915 N.E.2d 862 (Ill. App. Ct. 2009), an Illinois appellate court reexamined and rejected over thirty years of well-established precedent regarding the enforceability of restrictive covenants. Specifically, it rejected the “legitimate business interest” test long applied as a threshold issue by Illinois courts when deciding the enforceability of a restrictive covenant (i.e., before an Illinois court will address the reasonableness of a restrictive covenant, the employer must first establish that it is supported by a “legitimate business interest” – a tall order given how that term is defined in Illinois).

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