An Expansive View Of Noncompetes At Wis. High Court

By Robert Duda Jr. and Terry Smith (February 1, 2018, 10:04 AM EST) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court's recent decision in Manitowoc Company v. Lanning, 2018 WI 6 (Jan. 19, 2018), continues a noteworthy trend of broadly applying Wisconsin's strict statute governing noncompete agreements, Wis. Stat. § 103.465, to all manner of competition restrictions between employers and employees. In the latest case, Wisconsin's highest court held that an employee nonsolicitation clause, or employee "nonpoach" provision, constituted a noncompete agreement subject to Wisconsin's notoriously demanding restrictive covenant statute. More specifically, the court held that the nonsolicitation of employees clause prevented the plaintiff's former employee from competing fully with the plaintiff upon joining a competitor, was overbroad on its face and was not necessary for the protection of the employer, where it prohibited the departing employee from soliciting every one of the employer's 13,000 employees worldwide....

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