I’m attorney Reed Bloodworth, managing partner of Bloodworth Law in Orlando. We work with employers and employees across the state of Florida on employment law issues.
Why Florida Employers Need Non-Competes
I’m talking today about why Florida employers need non-competes. Non-competes are often introduced by employers to protect the financial and confidential interests of a business.
What is a Non-Compete?
A non-compete agreement is a contract between an employer and an employee to protect intellectual property, proprietary products or services, and to prevent competition in a clearly outlined legal document.
A non-compete can prohibit an employee from engaging in a business that competes with a current employer’s business, or from sharing confidential information with others.
No Standard Non-Compete
There is no such thing as a standard non-compete agreement. They’re drafted by employment attorneys and customized to protect the employer.
Can’t Be Forced
An employer cannot require an employee to sign a non-compete, however, employers may terminate an employee, or choose not to hire a person refusing to sign it.
Violation of a Non-Compete
As an employer, you may sue and go to court seeking what is called an injunction or a restraining order to prevent an employee from violating your agreement.
Violation of a non-compete agreement can cause an employer immediate financial harm and the court can use expedited procedures in these cases.
Once an employer requests an injunction or a restraining order it may only be a matter of days or weeks before there is a hearing scheduled before a judge.
Terms of the Non-Compete
First, look at the terms of the non-compete itself. Does it address termination? Assuming it does — and that it says the non-compete still applies even if an employee is terminated — the next question would be: is that legal? The answer varies.
Is the Non-Compete Legal?
If the reason for a termination is employer misconduct — discrimination, illegal activity by the employer or similar misconduct – then, most courts would hold that a non-compete is no longer enforceable.
Employee Fault for Termination
If the reason for termination is employee fault — attendance, poor performance or similar problems — then the fact that an employee was terminated will probably not be as significant.
Lawyers Write Non-Competes
An employer should draft non-compete agreements only through an employment law firm. And likewise, employees should have an attorney review the non-competes they are asked to sign.
I’m attorney Reed Bloodworth, the managing partner of Bloodworth Law in Florida. Let’s talk about how Bloodworth Law can help you or your business.