If you have a non-compete agreement, you should assume it’s enforceable until proven otherwise. Time and time again, people contact us after they’ve left their employment to either start their own competing business or to go to work for a different competitor. They assume that because Florida is a right to work state, they cannot be prevented from working in the same or similar filed. They further feel that they can go work for a competitor because their former employer never sought to enforce the non-compete against another employee. These are fallacies and misperceptions. Florida enforces non-compete agreements provided that they comply with the restrictive covenant statute and that statute does not care if an inability to work in a competing business prevents or bars that former employee from working altogether. Moreover, the statute grants the Court the power to modify a non-compete agreement if it is overly broad in terms of scope and time. In other words, non-competes are enforceable and courts have great leeway to modify them if necessary. Thus, if an employee is subject to a non-compete, before leaving the job or accepting another job for a potential competitor, it is important for that employee to consult with an attorney to discuss his/her rights, liabilities and obligations under the restrictive covenant. That is why we subscribe to the mantra that an employee should assume the non-compete is enforceable until proven otherwise! Kelsky Law, P.A., is happy to review non-compete agreements for employers and employees to discuss each parties rights and to advise of potential pitfalls and loopholes in those agreements
This article does not constitute legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship, and is not for re-publication without express permission of the author.