People in Florida may leave their job if they get a better offer elsewhere or if they want their career to move in a different direction. Employers recognize that sometimes they will lose a good employee. If so, they may want their employee to sign a noncompete agreement before leaving. Employees, however, may be concerned that a noncompete agreement is too limiting.
What is a noncompete agreement?
A noncompete agreement is a contract that an employee signs. It states that the employee will not work for a competitor or in a certain geographic area in the same business as their former employer for a certain period of time. Florida statutes set the guidelines for deciding whether a noncompete is overly restrictive and thus should be void.
Florida’s noncompete statute
Florida statutes state that a noncompete agreement is valid as long as it is reasonable in time, area and line of business. Reasonableness is the standard for enforcing a noncompete agreement. Unreasonable noncompete agreements cannot be enforced.
Employers wishing to enforce a noncompete agreement need to show that they have a legitimate business interest in need of protection. These interests may include trade secrets, confidential information, substantial customers or client bases, company goodwill and specialized training. A noncompete agreement cannot be enforced if there is not a legitimate business interest compelling enforcement.
Is a noncompete agreement right for you?
It is understandable why an employer would want to have an employee sign a noncompete. However, it is also understandable that employees do not want a noncompete agreement to limit their future job opportunities. Employees can seek help understanding the basics of a noncompete agreement so they can make an informed decision before signing one.