A covenant not to compete is a provision in an employment agreement which prohibits an employee from working for a competitor of his/her current employer for a certain time and in certain locations after the employee leaves his/her current employer. Minnesota law says that the mere continuation of employment is not sufficient consideration to support a covenant not to compete. Such a restrictive covenant must be entered into at the time the employment commenced or be supported by type of payment, job advancement, training or other benefit. Until recently, Wisconsin law was the same. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has specifically rejected the Minnesota approach and determined that the mere continuation of employment, in and of itself, is sufficient to support a non-compete agreement. In addition, the Wisconsin Legislature is considering legislation to make it easier to enforce these types of agreements. Minnesota employers with employees in Wisconsin may want to reconsider their strategies for enforcement of these agreements.
For more information on this topic and other Minnesota employment law issues contact Will Partridge at Farrish Johnson Law Office at 507-625-2525.
This webpage contains general information and not legal advice. It is based on Minnesota law in effect at the time of writing. An attorney at Farrish Johnson can advise you about how the law applies to your specific situation.