Bloodworth Law, PLLC, is an employment litigation firm in located in Orlando, Florida, and Winter Haven, Florida. Managing Partner and founder, L. Reed Bloodworth and attorney and Partner J. Kemp Brinson handle non-compete cases for corporations, small businesses, and employees with non-compete issues.
Will Your Non-Compete Agreement Stand Up in Court?
Will your non-compete agreement stand up in court against an employee that tests it? As an employer, what will you do if your top scientist, chief technology officer, or the award-winning creative director decides to start a business of their own using skills you taught them?
Kemp explains that a Florida non-compete must be justified by a legitimate business interest. So, in order for a non-compete to be enforceable, it has to protect something that actually has a legitimate value.
What about a trade secret that’s really important to your business that an employee has knowledge of? You’ve taught them, shown them or relied on them to work with you to create a trade secret.
Did You Protect Your Firm?
Attorney J. Kemp Brinson works with employers to create non-compete agreements. He explains that if you hired an employee with the expectation they would help to add customers to your business, not for their business when they quit down the line, you have a right to protect your customers from poaching by employees or former employees.
If a competing company decided to pursue the scientist who holds the knowledge of your basis for your business success, you should have some way to protect yourself from competitors. The question is whether your non-compete agreement will do that.
You don’t want to lose an employee for whom you paid extraordinary training in funds and that you’ve invested in training this person for your business. Or, lose the customer goodwill that you’ve invested in financially while creating an image of this individual as the face of your company.
When you have employee issues, it’s important to bring your questions to an attorney. Talk with Reed about how the review or production of a non-compete agreement can help you or your business.