Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Wisconsin Non-Compete Ruling

This is important.

Non-compete agreements in Wisconsin have a history of not being viewed favorably by the courts in Wisconsin. Enforceable agreements are difficult to draft, leaving litigants to search agreements with a fine-toothed comb to find any hint of over-breadth on the part of the employer, then arguing that the unreasonableness of one restriction renders all restrictions unenforceable.

This "void one, void them all" approach was fostered by a 2001 decision in which the court of appeals held that provisions in non-compete agreements are "intertwined and indivisible" if they govern similar activity which almost all restrictive covenants do.

However, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has now overruled that decision,...


Among other things:

Employers have a legitimate interest in prohibiting solicitation of former customers who were customers within the recent past, even though the employer does not have a current relationship with the customer.

That changes the landscape, folks.

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