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Restrictive covenant (covenants not-to-compete) litigation involves very high stakes, particularly for the employee who faces a temporary, or perhaps permanent, loss of his or her livelihood. Not only is it often expensive and time-consuming, but also emotionally and financially draining. Thus, at the beginning of the representation, the attorney representing an employee who may be bound by a covenant not-to-compete should carefully review and consider the merits of the litigation, as well as the short-term and long-term business ramifications for the client.
Often times, an employee signs a non-compete agreement at the point of being hired, without the assistance of a qualified non-compete attorney or lawyer. When this happens, the terms of the non-compete agreement are often written to heavily favor the employer. Fortunately, many of these non-compete agreements do not stand up in court, due to the language and stipulations which are identified in the document.
A non-compete agreement may not be written in a manner which prohibits an individual from continuing to work in their chosen occupation if the employment relationship is severed. The legal purpose of a valid non-compete agreement is protect the employer from an employee leaving the company and utilizing, selling, or divulging company or trade secrets, and against the act of hoarding or stealing clientele from the company.
A non-compete agreement may not restrict you from your ability to earn a living in any way, as long as in none of the above mentioned valid stipulations are not broken in your pursuit to remain in your chosen path of employment.
The most effective defense to a valid non-compete agreement is that the employer materially breached the contract between it and the former employee prior to the employee's alleged breach, thereby obviating any obligation on the part of the employee to comply with same. Florida law holds that an employer's material breach of an employment contract is a relevant factor in determining whether an employer is entitled to a temporary injunction enforcing a covenant not to compete.
If you are disputing a non-compete agreement your employer made you sign upon employment, are defending your rights in a non-compete agreement legal dispute, or need to have a non-compete agreement reviewed or negotiated, Budgen Law is well prepared to assist you.
Budgen Law aggressively defends the legal rights of workers involved in a non-compete agreement dispute or other employment and labor law legal issues. We will addresses all related issues that should be taken into consideration when pursuing non-compete agreement legal claims.