In this age of globalization, where the success of a body business depends largely on sensitive processes, technological predominance and trade secrets, employers have an interest in taking all forms of protection to protect this confidential information from any kind of leakage. As a result, these concerns have led to a common acceptance of the ”non-compete” clause in various employment contracts and other forms of agreements that prevent workers and/or former workers from practising a similar occupation or trade with the employer`s competitor after the termination of their activity. Although the concept of a non-compete clause has been widely accepted by employers in recent decades, the concept`s origins date back to the mid-19th century. Employers use these conventional provisions as an instrument (more often as a precondition for employment) to impose on workers one or more of the following restrictions: a non-compete agreement is a contract between the employee and the employer. A non-compete clause prohibits a worker from committing a business that competes with the activities of his current employer. While an employer cannot ask you to sign a non-compete clause, they may or may not hire them if you refuse to sign. Courts generally do not approve non-competition agreements. In the case of non-competition disputes, the courts consider certain factors to determine whether the agreement is appropriate. If you are negotiating a non-compete agreement, you should consider limiting the agreement to what is necessary to protect the employer and seeking severance pay in the event of termination. To learn more about the impact a non-compete agreement could have on you, see below. Already in Dyer`s case in 1414, the English common law decided not to enforce the prohibitions on non-competition, as they were by nature trade restrictions.  This prohibition remained unchanged until 1621, when a restriction limited to a given geographical site was established as an exception to the previously absolute rule. Nearly a hundred years later, the exception became the rule in Mitchel v Reynolds of 1711, which provided the modern framework for analyzing the possibility of a non-competition clause.
 Non-competition prohibitions are applied in Illinois where the agreement is an ancillary relationship with a valid relationship (employment, sale of a business, etc.) and (1) must not be greater than what is necessary to protect a legitimate business interest of the employer (2), the worker must not impose unreasonable severity and (3) cannot harm the public.  Although reasonable restrictions in the space and time of the non-competition agreement are not expressly imposed by law, they tend to be seen as a measure of the extent of the non-competition obligation greater than what is necessary to protect the legitimate commercial interest of the employer.  Does the employer have a legitimate interest that it protects by the non-compete agreement? Legally not, but it may tell you that the employer does not consider the cost and risk of trying to enforce the agreement.