Restrictive covenants, often known as “noncompete agreements,” are more prevalent than ever due to increased employee mobility and the ease with which information can be transferred. However, workers and businesses often don’t understand the rules that control the enforceability of these documents. State law requires that restrictions be reasonable, but a New York court refused to apply the Florida standard and called it “truly obnoxious” because the statute prohibits judges from considering the economic hardship that a former worker might face. No matter what side of a restrictive covenant you’re on, it’s important to know your rights.
The relevant Florida statute places the initial burden on the business seeking to enforce a noncompete agreement by showing that certain factors exist, including:
Like the New York court, many observers believe that the Florida law favors employers, because once they have met their legal threshold, a former worker cannot demonstrate how enforcement of the agreement will cause financial harm. However, an experienced Florida civil litigation attorney can often find ways to demonstrate that an unduly harsh restrictive covenant should not be enforced due to lack of reasonableness.
Frank Charles Miranda, P.A. represents individuals and businesses in matters relating to noncompete agreements and other civil litigation cases. Please call 813-254-2637 or contact us online to schedule an appointment at our Tampa office.