Skip to navigation
Focused on Business and Employment Law Reach Out Now

Employee Mobility and Non-Competes Attorney Serving Clients Across Florida

Approximately 20 percent of employees in the United States are bound by non-compete agreements in their workplaces. These agreements, also known as covenants not to compete or restrictive covenants, restrict employees from engaging in business activities that compete with their employer's interests after leaving the company. This applies to various roles including employees, independent contractors, owners, part-owners, investors, or in any other capacity. 

For instance, if you are employed by a company that manufactures recreational drones, you might be required to sign a non-compete agreement that prevents you from seeking employment or establishing a business with a similar focus. Additionally, you may also be asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement to safeguard trade secrets related to the design, functionality, and manufacturing techniques of these drones. 

Non-compete agreements' legality varies by state. Some states limit their usage due to concerns about hindering business growth. Notably, California has largely outlawed them, except in specific cases. In contrast, Florida recognizes non-compete agreements as long as they are written, specify an enforcement timeframe after employees leave the company, and clearly outline the restricted geographic area. 

The geographical area specified in a non-compete agreement is crucial, particularly with the increasing national scope of many businesses. Employees bound by these agreements may question whether the restrictions are applicable if they move to another county or state. 

If you are a Florida employer, employee, or job applicant in the Tampa or St. Petersburg area, and you have inquiries or concerns regarding non-compete agreements, feel free to reach out to me at the Zwetsch Law Group P.A. With over three decades of experience in business and employment law, I can provide guidance on creating effective non-compete agreements or offer insights into your rights as an employee. 

For Skilled Representation

Reach Out to Me

Non-Compete Agreements in Florida

Florida's Statutes (Section 542.335) enforce contracts that restrict competition during or after the term of restrictive covenants. To pass legal scrutiny, these contracts must meet the criteria of reasonableness in terms of time, area, and line of business. Overall, a non-compete agreement must safeguard a legitimate business interest and be both reasonable and practical in scope. 

Considering geographical factors, an employee's relocation or a delay before entering a competitive field can impact the enforceability of a non-compete agreement. Florida's statutes impose limits on the duration of such agreements. For employees leaving a company, a non-compete agreement is generally reasonable for up to six months but deemed unreasonable beyond two years. Former dealers, distributors, franchisees, or licensees are typically subject to a one-year duration, while anything beyond three years may be considered unreasonable. 

The reach of modern businesses, facilitated by the Internet and social media, has expanded nationwide, sometimes transcending state boundaries. To enforce a non-compete agreement in another state, pursuing legal action through the courts is necessary but can be time-consuming and costly. 

In a scenario where an employee leaves a company in Tampa to work for a competitor in Miami, the enforceability of the non-compete agreement would rely on establishing legitimate business interests in Miami or areas outside of Tampa. 

Navigating non-compete agreements requires careful consideration of both employer and employee interests. Seeking legal advice can ensure compliance with relevant laws and protect the rights of all parties involved. 

Presidential Executive Order on Non-Compete Agreements

In an Executive Order he issued, President Joe Biden took aim at non-compete agreements as a barrier to competition in the U.S. economy. One of the points he made was to make “it easier to change jobs and help raise wages by banning or limiting non-compete agreements and unnecessary, cumbersome occupational licensing requirements that impede economic mobility.” The order directs 12 federal agencies to look into the issue. 

Alternatives to Non-Compete Agreements

Two other approaches to protecting a company’s proprietary interests are through nondisclosure agreements, or NDAs as they are known, and through confidentiality agreements. The two are very similar in nature. An NDA requires employees not to share or reveal trade secrets used by the parent company. A confidentiality agreement likewise requires employees not to divulge proprietary information, which is spelled out in the document. 

Employee Mobility and Non-Competes Attorney Serving Clients Across Florida

If you’re an employer crafting a non-compete agreement, or an employee who wants to know their options after signing one and moving on to a new job or career, contact me immediately at the Zwetsch Law Group P.A. Reach out immediately with all your questions and concerns.