The Land of Cheese, Beer…and Widespread Restrictive Covenants?

If there’s one thing states can agree on when it comes to non-compete agreements, it’s that nobody can agree what to do about them. Michigan, which broadly permits restrictive covenant agreements, is considering a bill that would severely restrict the practice. And now the opposite is happening in Wisconsin, with a new bill under consideration that would make the state considerably more friendly to non-compete contracts. Changes to state law would include making continued employment adequate consideration for restrictive covenants, allowing courts to modify agreements otherwise deemed too restrictive (as opposed to rendering the agreements void altogether), and other changes that would generally make it easier for employers to enforce non-compete contracts. Sarah Riskin, a labor and employment attorney at Nilan Johnson Lewis, sees the proposed law as a double-edged sword for employers. “Although this bill, if passed, will make it easier for employers to enforce non-compete agreements for departing employees, it will also make it more difficult for employers to hire new talent due to the new restrictions.” Contact Sarah Riskin at (612) 305-7713 or sriskin@nilanjohnson.com, or Angela Deeney at (651) 789-1277 or angela@kohnstamm.com.

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