On January 1, 2022, amendments to the Illinois Freedom to Work Act, 820 ILCS 90/1, et seq. (the “Act”), became effective, trumpeting reforms and limitations on an employer’s ability to enter into covenants not to compete and covenants not to solicit with certain categories of employees whose actual or expected annualized rate of earnings fall below certain thresholds.

Now, just two short years later, the Illinois state legislature has introduced four different bills containing proposed amendments to the Act that would undermine, if not completely obliterate, the Act’s 2022 amendments.

The first bill, SB 2737, introduced on January 12, 2024, would render any covenant not to compete or covenant not to solicit entered into after January 1, 2022, unenforceable with respect to professionals licensed in Illinois who provide mental health services to veterans and first responders.

The second bill, HB 4888, which was introduced on February 7, 2024, seeks to amend the Act by providing that “a covenant not to compete or a covenant not to solicit is not enforceable if it restricts an employee’s ability to exercise his or her rights under federal law.” 

The third bill, HB 5385, introduced on February 9, 2024, would prohibit all covenants not to compete and covenants not to solicit. Additionally, the legislation would prohibit employers from enforcing “a contract that is void and unenforceable under the  Act regardless of whether the contract was signed and the employment was maintained outside of” Illinois. The bill also contains a notice requirement, requiring that on or by April 1, 2025, employers notify employees, as well as former employees who were employed after January 1, 2023, in writing that the covenant not to compete or the covenant not to solicit is void and unenforceable.

The fourth bill, SB 2770, as amended, introduced on February 20, 2024, would declare covenants not to compete void and illegal for individuals employed in construction, regardless of whether the individuals are covered by a collective bargaining agreement. The bill, however, allows for employers to enter into covenants not to compete with “construction employees who primarily perform management, engineering or architectural, design, or sales functions for the employer or who are shareholders, partners, or owners in any capacity of the employer.”

While it remains unseen which, if any, of these bills may become law, their introduction reflects the continuing national discussion about noncompetes and non-solicitation agreements. We will continue to monitor and provide updates on these developments.

Back to Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility Blog

Search This Blog

Blog Editors


Related Services



Jump to Page


Sign up to receive an email notification when new Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility posts are published:

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.