Depending on the type of business, Orlando, Florida employers want and need to protect the competitive advantages they may have established through innovation and years of hard work. To do so, employers sometimes require that their employees agree to and sign restrictive covenants called non-disclosure and non-compete agreements.
These agreements can be a valid restraint on trade if they reasonably prohibit employees from taking to another employer, or from using on their own, trade secrets, customer lists, and other business practices from a previous employer.
To have a valid Florida restrictive covenant agreement in Florida, an employer must abide by Section 542.335 of the Florida Statutes. The agreements must include the following:
The agreement must be reasonable regarding time, place, and the line of business. For example, a beauty shop would probably not be able to limit a former employee from opening his or her own shop in the same locale.
The agreement must be in writing and signed by the party against whom enforcement of the agreement is sought.
The party seeking the covenant must demonstrate a legitimate business interest such as trade secrets; valuable confidential business information; substantial relationships with specific existing clients or customer; customer goodwill associated with a specific geographic location, business practice, by way of trade name or trade area; or extraordinary training given to the employee.
Employers who believe a former employee is violating a contract may seek recourse in either state or federal court by means of injunctive relief. The employer has to show that irreparable harm will result to the business if the former employee is permitted to continue his or business activity in violation of the agreement.
If employers meet their burden under Florida law, employees have to demonstrate the covenant is too restrictive, meaning that it covers too broad a geographical area, is for too long a time, or is unnecessary.
Orlando employers and those in the surrounding counties of Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, and Alachua should seek professional advice and have a restrictive covenant drafted by an employment attorney from the Morey Law Firm, P.A. Our attorneys are well-versed in the law regarding compliance and enforcement of non-compete and non-disclosure agreements.
If your employer is requiring you to sign a non-disclosure and/or non-compete agreement of if your employer has used you to enforce a a restrictive covenant, contact one of our employment attorneys at the Morey Law Firm, P.A. today at 407-426-7222.