How do you define insufficient consideration?

I have been employed as a sales consultant from 4/99 - 8/04. I was dismissed without cause/reason (as stated in my employee handbook as an "at-will" employee). My company is headquartered in Wisconsin but my sales efforts and home office were in Cook County. Prior to my position with this firm I represented many of the same clients at another company. I was able to transition many of these clients to the current firm because of my solid relationship with them.

I was forced to sign a non-compete in March of 2002. I say forced because I did not want to lose my position of which I was very successful.

Now that I have been fired I would like to start up my own company offering some of the services that my old firm offered. I have received a demand letter from their attorneys stating that I must cease and desist immediately. Whilw I have discussed this with an attorney, I am interested in your opinion. One discussion is insufficient consideration. Each employee was give 3 days of vacation for calendar year 2002. This amounted to only $275.00 to me as like most sales people, I was mostly commissioned based. Might this be considered insufficient consideration?

1 answer  |  asked Sep 22, 2004 12:29 PM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

Answers (1)

Aaron Maduff
How do you define insufficient consideration?

Because we are in an at will employment state and the employer can terminate you at any time, continued employment is usually sufficient consideration. But that does not mean that you don't have other possible remedies. The non-compete has to be reviewed. Non-compete agreements are only enforceable where they are reasonable in time and geography and reasonably necessary to the protection of the company. In addition, the company has the burden of proof if it sues you for violations. You need to have an attorney review this agreement with you and review what your situation is. You should contact us or one of the other fine employment lawyers on this site.
Aaron Maduff

posted by Aaron Maduff  |  Sep 23, 2004 09:04 AM [EST]

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