Florida Employer Non-Compete Agreement Lawyer
As an employer, you have invested a significant amount of resources into your employees. For some sectors and some geographic locations that are especially competitive, it could be beneficial to outline certain restrictions for your employees that limit their ability to directly compete with your company after separation. By doing so, you have a better chance of keeping your most important trade secrets and other company information out of the hands of those who matter most.
However, a non-compete is not necessary for everyone, and an unnecessary and irrational one can turn away qualified candidates and will most likely be ineffective in the end. In addition, if you try to enforce a non-compete and fail, you will have to pay the other party’s lawyer’s fees on top of yours, and you may even have to compensate the employee for wrongfully costing him or her a job. By making sure that your non-compete is enforceable and reasonable from the start, you can avoid many of these potential issues. Contact our Florida employer non-compete agreement lawyers for assistance.
At Scott • Wagner and Associates, we provide advice free of commitment, draft contracts and other complex company documents, and provide representation for those facing litigation. We encourage you to ask us your questions in the form you will find on each page throughout our site, and we will get back with you as soon as possible.
Is your non-compete unenforceable?
There are several reasons that your non-compete agreement may be unenforceable in Florida. Read below to find out how to make it enforceable. It is much easier to prevent challenges than to fight them.
A non-compete provision can either be a separate agreement or it can be included in the employment contract. For the individual elements of a contract to be enforceable, all elements of the contract must be followed. If a party breaches any element of a contract, the other party will be relieved of all obligations under the contract. This means that all included clauses would at that point be void. Let our experienced Florida non-compete agreement lawyers help.
It is essential that the agreement protect only legitimate business interests. Under Florida law, the following are considered to be legitimate business interests:
- Trade secrets
- Confidential business or professional information of value not meeting the definition of a trade secret
- Substantial relationships with specified existing or potential customers, patients, or clients
- Specialized or extraordinary employee training
- Goodwill of customers, patients, or clients relating to trademarks and related issues as well as specified geographic or marketing areas
For assistance in determining your legitimate business interests, contact the employment lawyers at Scott • Wagner and Associates in Jupiter, Florida. We can help you to think through the various positions at your company and delineate which positions should be subject to a non-compete (i.e. it is often not necessary to restrict lower-level employees, such as receptionists). We also have extensive experience drafting these types of agreements and more.
You should also consider whether or not the time and geographic restrictions that it places are reasonable. Courts generally view restrictions in a non-compete agreement lasting more than two years as unreasonable.
As your company evolves, so should its agreements. If, for instance, you are phasing out of a specific area of business, it is not reasonable to prevent an employee from finding other employment in that area. If you have cut off ties with a certain customer, it is no longer reasonable to prevent employees from working with said customer once he or she leaves your company. By failing to update your non-compete, there is a greater chance that the courts will find it to be unenforceable should an employee challenge the agreement.
Contact Our Florida Employer Non-Compete Agreement Lawyers
If an employee has challenged your non-compete agreement, contact us for representation in court. Depending on your situation, you may have a defense.