Tampa Contract Dispute Lawyers:
Litigation of Restrictive Covenants in Employment Agreements
A properly drafted non-compete agreement prevents employees with key knowledge from joining a direct competitor or starting their own rival enterprise. However, many non-competes turn out to be unenforceable because they are overly broad or so restrictive that the employee cannot work in the same industry.
The employment law attorneys of Feldman Morgado, P.A., have extensive experience with legal conflicts over covenants not to compete and other restrictive covenants in employee agreements. If you are embroiled in a dispute over a non-compete agreement — as the employer or the former employee — we can analyze the non-compete in question and take proactive steps to enforce or protect your interests.
Disputed Non-Compete Agreement?
We represent either party in negotiation, dispute resolution or litigation of employment agreements, with offices throughout Florida. Contact us today to discuss your specific case.
Florida Non-Compete Agreement Lawyers
The Florida courts have generally enforced non-competes, as stand-alone contracts at the time of separation or as covenants built into an employee agreement. When non-competes are not upheld, it is typically because the terms are overly broad:
- Geographic restrictions — Prohibiting an employee from competing in the same county or a certain radius is usually enforceable, but a regional or statewide restriction may not hold up unless the service or product is unique enough to warrant such a broad blanket.
- Time limitations — Covenants of less than a year are usually enforced by courts, but freezing an employee out for two years or more is usually deemed unreasonable. However, it always depends on the market, the employee and other facts of the case.
- Competition — Is the agreement too broad or vague about what constitutes directly competing? Do the employee's skills or knowledge constitute trade secrets or any threat to the former employer?
The experienced trial lawyers of Feldman Morgado, P.A., are well versed in employment law and business law, and we understand what is at stake in these disputes. We will explore a buyout or a negotiated revision of the agreement, but we are prepared to go to court to seek an injunction or to press a lawsuit for damages.
The Florida Supreme Court has generally held that when a valid non-compete has been violated, damages for irreparable harm are presumed. However, we have successfully argued that provisions of non-competes were invalid and we have successfully demonstrated that no harm occurred even when the terms of the agreement were technically breached. Florida courts also have discretion to strike overly restrictive provisions and enforce other provisions of a non-competition, non-solicitation or non-disclosure agreement.
Statewide Experience with Restrictive Covenant Litigation
For more information or to schedule an appointment with our veteran civil litigators, please contact our offices in Tampa, Ocala/Gainesville, Miami, Naples, Jacksonville, or Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We also maintain an office in Atlanta, Georgia.