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Starting January 1, 2017, the new Illinois Freedom to Work Act will prohibit private sector employers from entering into covenants not-to-compete with “low-wage employees” who work in the state, and render unenforceable any such restrictions that are entered into on or after that date.

The Act defines a “low-wage employee” as one who earns the greater of $13.00 per hour or the minimum wage required by applicable federal, state, or local law. As of January 1, 2017, that would include any private sector employee in Illinois who is paid $13.00 per hour or less.

The Act defines a “covenant not to compete” as an agreement between an employer and a low-wage employee entered into on or after January 1, 2017, that restricts the employee from performing any work for another employer for a specified period of time, any work in a specified geographical area, or work for another employer that is similar to the employee’s work for the employer that is a party to the agreement. The Act thus appears limited to non-competes rather than barring covenants not to solicit customers or employees, or confidentiality agreements.
Continue Reading Illinois Bans Noncompetes for Low-Wage Employees

On September 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued the long-awaited Final Rule implementing President Obama’s Executive Order 13706, which requires federal contractors (and their subcontractors) to provide workers with a minimum of seven days of paid sick leave. The Rule will impose substantial new obligations on many employers beginning January 1, 2017, and comes as state and local governments increasingly enact mandatory paid leave laws across the country.
Continue Reading DOL Issues Final Rules for Sick Leave for Federal Contractors