When it comes to employment contracts, few inclusions are more divisive than restrictive covenants. People and businesses alike often have strong opinions about whether the inclusion of employment rules that prohibit certain behavior is necessary for the protection of an employer.
Noncompete agreements are among the most popular restrictive covenants. Most employers would agree that noncompete agreements protect them from employee misconduct and corporate espionage. Although some states don’t enforce them, Florida is quite employer-friendly when it comes to restrictive covenants.
You have a good chance of the courts upholding your noncompete agreement if a former employee challenges it — provided you follow the right steps. In order for your agreement to be enforceable if an employee violates it, you need to be careful about when you have them sign the document.
Signing as a new hire or after a promotion is common
Many companies have workers sign noncompete agreements when they accept an offer of employment. If your company only has to worry about someone leaving and getting a job with a competitor from those who have particular talents or access to certain information, you may limit noncompete agreements to those who accept managerial, executive, creative or development positions.
Having workers sign an agreement whenever they accept a sensitive position with the company is often a smart decision. That way, their new job or new position with the company is the valuable consideration they receive for signing the agreement. Otherwise, your company will need to think of something valuable to offer them, such as extra vacation days or something else worth their concessions in the contract.
Understanding how Florida handles noncompete agreements will make it easier for you to integrate one into your business practices successfully.