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Can my employer make me sign a non-compete while I have been a long standing active employee or change the state it is governed?

Schaumburg, IL |

My main employer presented us all with new non-compete agreements to sign. We were not offered anything in return or a change in title. One thing that changed in the agreement from the original was the laws were to be governed in the state of MO instead of IL where we are employed. The company is also in IL and is not in any other state. They are also incorporated in IL. She stated they were just updating records and were looking to make sure everyone had one on file. We were told they were the same as the originals but just needed to have new copies and they couldn’t find the old ones. Also the non-compete states that I can’t work for any company that can be considered a competitor in any way for 2 years instead of one year. What options do I have?

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Attorney answers 2


Go bring your old and new non-compete contracts to an employment attorney for a complete review and guidance.


One option is to look at your employee handbook. Does the employer reserve the right to make unilateral changes? If you are under a contract of employment vs an at will employee that could make a difference as well in whether the employer has to offer anything for making those changes. Increasing the non-compete if you are under contract without offering anything else does not sound enforceable to me.