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Kevin Cloutier is a partner in the Labor and Employment and Business Trials Practice Groups.  Kevin is the Leader of the Firm's Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Teams.

A recent decision from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals highlights some of the pitfalls of entering into commercial transactions without conducting thorough employment diligence – even in the asset purchase context.

Continue Reading Buyer Beware: Tenth Circuit Issues Decision Emphasizing Critical Need for Employment Diligence

On August 10, 2022, Colorado House Bill 22-1317 became law. Following the national trend of limiting employer use of non-compete and non-solicit covenants, Colorado now prohibits the use of non-competes and non-solicits except in the sale of business context and with “highly compensated” workers. The law also provides specific notice requirements and imposes costly penalties for non-compliance. The law’s requirements and penalties are not retroactive. The key requirements of the new law are as follows:

Continue Reading Colorado’s New Restrictive Covenant Law Now Effective

Since President Biden’s July 2021 direction to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to “curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility,” the FTC has ratcheted up its scrutiny of and investigations into non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants. Now, the FTC has expanded beyond post-employment restrictive covenants to tackle “sale of business” non-competes. Most recently, the FTC voted in favor of a deal-changing proposed order against ARKO Corp. related to its 2021 acquisition of sixty fuel outlets from Corrigan Oil Company.

Continue Reading Buyer (and Seller) Beware: The FTC Is Coming for Your M&A Non-Competes

Over the past two years, employee mobility seems to be at an all-time high.  In fact, the labor market is so fluid that pundits and experts often refer to it as the “Great Resignation.”  Although employee mobility can be a great opportunity for both employees and prospective employers, employers hiring new employees should always beware of potential problems such as restrictive covenants, which may follow an employee to a new job.
Continue Reading Void vs. Voidable: The Distinction That Can Make or Break a Tortious Interference Claim in Light of the Great Resignation

In a recent decision regarding an employee’s claims for violations of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit asked the Illinois Supreme Court to provide much-needed clarification on the accrual of BIPA violations.  See Cothron v. White Castle System, Inc., Case No. 20-3202, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 37593 (7th Cir. Dec. 20, 2021).

Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Certifies Hotly-Contested BIPA Accrual Issue to Illinois Supreme Court

Continuing the trend of recognizing Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) as a muscular privacy-protective statute, the Illinois Appellate Court for the First District has ruled that the most common statutory violations of BIPA are subject to a five-year statute of limitations. BIPA imposes several duties on companies that collect, store or use biometric data—e.g., fingerprints, facial geometry scans—from Illinois residents. Prevailing plaintiffs may recover liquidated damages ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for each BIPA violation (plus attorneys’ fees), and these provisions incentivize plaintiffs’ lawyers to bring BIPA claims as class actions.

Continue Reading Illinois Appellate Court Affirms 5-Year Statute of Limitations Period for Certain BIPA Claims

On September 9, 2021, the White House released a memorandum titled “Path Out of the Pandemic,” which detailed President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan.  The memorandum contains six priorities for combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, including a requirement that all employers with 100 or more employees must implement a vaccine mandate and/or require weekly testing of unvaccinated workers.

Continue Reading President Biden and OSHA to Require Vaccine Mandate or Weekly Testing for Employers with 100+ Employees

On August 13, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed into law a bill amending the Illinois Freedom to Work Act governing restrictive covenants and non-competition agreements.  On May 30, 2021, the Illinois General Assembly passed a bill codifying existing noncompete law in some respects and modifying it in others.  We detailed the Bill in a prior blog here.  The Bill is now the law.  The amendments become effective on January 1, 2022 and will not apply retroactively.

Continue Reading Illinois Governor Signs Non-Compete Legislation

In January 2020, Illinois legalized the use of recreational marijuana through the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“the Act”).  Two months later, many employees began working remotely because of the pandemic.  Today, work-from-home continues to blur the lines between “work” and “home” in countless ways, and employee drug policies are no exception.  The new world of remote work has left many employers wondering what to do with their drug policies now that cannabis is legal and their employees are remote or hybrid.  Can an employer lawfully prevent their employees from using cannabis while working from home?

Continue Reading What Do I Do With My Workplace Drug Policy Now That Cannabis Is Legal in Illinois and My Employees Are Remote?

Following a nationwide trend, Illinois has proposed significant legislation affecting employee restrictive covenants, such as non-compete agreements.  While the proposed law does not dramatically change most aspects of the patchwork of Illinois common law, it adds certainty to long-questioned areas and imposes several threshold hurdles and eligibility factors to the test for assessing enforceable restrictive covenants.

Continue Reading What Employers Need to Know About New Non-Compete Legislation in Illinois

Illinois’s Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed Senate Bill 1480 into law, establishing new employer certification and reporting requirements, making sweeping changes to Illinois’s anti-retaliation law, and curtailing employers’ uses of criminal convictions in employment decisions.  Effective immediately upon signing on March 23, 2021, the law impacts all employers doing business in Illinois.  A summary of the amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act, Illinois Business Corporation Act, and Illinois Human Rights Act are detailed below:
Continue Reading Governor Signs Sweeping Changes to Illinois Employment Laws