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Non-Compete in Illinois Illinois

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  • Non-Compete in Illinois Illinois

    I worked as a sales person for a firm - I left about a year and half ago. While I was employed, my employer declined a job I brought to them and then in order to help out my client, I passed the lead to another firm. This was not unusual, we had passed leads back and forth for years, it worked both ways, and I secured many deals for my firm in this manner. I did have a one year non-compete agreement. The company I passed the lead to did the job. Now my former employer is denying that they refused the job and claiming that I violated my non-compete. There is nothing in the document I signed that addresses the case of my company declining business. My take is that once they declined the business, they were no longer competing, I could do whatever I wanted with the lead. Is there anything I can refer to to backup my argument? Does anyone know of a similiar case?

  • #2
    As to whether this is a violation of your non-competition agreement, someone would need to look at the specific language in your agreement to tell you whether passing on a lead under the circumstances you described violates your agreement.

    In Illinois, employees also have a common law "duty of loyalty" to their employer. Employees may generally not compete with their employer during the term of their employment, whether or not they have a non-compete agreement.

    Based solely on your side of the facts, your actions would seem not to be contrary to the interest of your employer. Not only did the employer turn down the work, but passing on leads has historically resulted in generating business from people in similar positions.

    However, your employer, for whatever reason, is apparently disagreeing with your facts. That makes any assessment difficult at best, since no one knows whose "facts" will prevail.
    David K. Staub (
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