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Tatge v. Chambers & Owen, Inc.

Wisconsin Supreme Court
579 N.W.2d 217 (1998)


Chambers & Owen, Inc. (defendant) asked its at-will employee, Wayne Tatge (plaintiff), to sign nondisclosure and noncompete restrictive covenants. The nondisclosure covenant was unreasonable and therefore unenforceable. Tatge objected to both covenants and asked the company’s president, John Owen, what would happen if he refused to sign. Owen said nothing would happen, and assured Tatge that he would be terminated only for cause. Days later, when Tatge refused to sign the covenants, Owen fired him on the spot. Tatge sued the company for wrongful discharge. The trial judge entered summary judgment for Chambers & Owen. The court of appeals affirmed, and Tatge appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Wilcox, J.)

Dissent (Abrahamson, C.J.)

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