For many years, Illinois courts assessing the enforceability of noncompete agreements required employers to demonstrate that they had a legitimate business interest before deciding whether the agreement was reasonable.
That view was challenged in Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. v. Ehlers, 394 Ill. App. 3d 421 (4th Dist., 2009), when an appellate court rejected the legitimate business-interest test, finding that the only relevant considerations in determining the validity of a noncompete agreement are the reasonableness of the time and territory restrictions.
As a result, a question arose concerning whether Illinois recognizes the legitimate business interest as a requirement of an enforceable restrictive covenant. The stage was set for an Illinois Supreme Court challenge.
On Dec. 1, 2011, a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court issued its decision in Reliable Fire Equipment Co. v. Arredondo et al. (2011 IL 11871, I...(register to read more)