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Why Florida Employers Need Non-Competes

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-Competesnon compete agreements florida

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.