On August 19, 2016, Illinois Governor Rauner signed the “Illinois Freedom to Work Act” into law which, effective January 1, 2017, will prohibit employers from entering into non-competition agreements with low wage employees, i.e., employees earning less than $13.00 per hour. The new law will apply to Illinois employers of any size (who employ one or more employees). The law provides that no employer shall enter into a covenant not to compete with any low wage employee; and that any covenant not to compete so entered into is illegal and void.

This is one of the many new federal, state and city employment laws that have been enacted this year which follow the legal trend of expanding the rights of employees.