On October 20, 2016—just about three weeks before the presidential election won by Donald Trump—the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission issued a remarkable document, entitled “Antitrust Guidance for Human Resources Professionals,” which outlined an aggressive policy promising to investigate and punish employers, and even individual Human Resources employees, who enter into unlawful

The top story on Employment Law This Week: The DOJ intends to investigate anti-competitive trade practices.

The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission released joint guidance for HR professionals on how antitrust laws apply to employment. The guidance explains that agreements among employers not to recruit certain employees—or not to compete on terms

Following up on a string of civil enforcement actions and employee antitrust suits, regarding no-poaching agreements in the technology industry, on October 20, 2016 the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued Antitrust Guidance for Human Resources Professionals (the “Guidance”). The Guidance outlines an aggressive policy to investigate and punish employers,

Our colleagues Peter Steinmeyer and Scarlett Freeman of Epstein Becker Green authored an article in Workforce Magazine titled “Courts Take Closer Look at Noncompete Clauses.”

Following is an excerpt:

In the past few years, courts have been re-examining what constitutes adequate consideration for a restrictive covenant. In 2013, the Illinois Court of Appeals held,

A recent decision by one district of the Illinois Court of Appeals (Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services) significantly altered long-settled understandings regarding the consideration required for an enforceable restrictive covenant in Illinois. In light of that decision, Illinois employers hoping to enforce restrictive covenants within two years after the signing date should be prepared to distinguish Fifield factually or legally. Employers that are concerned about their ability to do so, or that want to err on the side of caution, should act now to address the implications of Fifield.
Continue Reading

From the mid-1970s until a few weeks ago, Illinois law on enforceability of restrictive covenants was clear: employers seeking to enforce a restrictive covenant first had to establish that the covenant was necessary to protect either confidential information or a near permanent customer relationship – the two recognized “legitimate business interests” sufficient to support a restrictive covenant under Illinois law.

In late September 2009, the Illinois Fourth District Court of Appeal, in Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. v. Ehlers, determined that the “legitimate business interest” test was not supported by any decision of the Illinois Supreme Court. Accordingly, the Sunbelt court held that, in determining whether a restrictive covenant is enforceable under Illinois law, a court should evaluate only the time-and-territory restrictions contained therein. In doing so, the Fourth District Court of Appeals departed from the clearly established case law of all appellate courts in Illinois (and also previous decisions of the Fourth District).
Continue Reading

Florida law, specifically section 542.335, Florida statutes, which generally authorizes courts to enforce non-compete and other post-employment restrictive covenants if reasonable, leaves a number of issues unaddressed. Several of those issues are addressed in an opinion issued recently by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Proudfoot Consulting Co. v. Gordon (11th Cir., July 30, 2009). The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s injunction, but reversed the $1.66 million damages award to the former employer.
Continue Reading