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Non-Compete Agreements in Florida
It is increasingly common for employers to condition an offer of employment on non-compete and non-solicitation agreements. Often referred to legally as restrictive covenants, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements enforce certain limitations if an employee switches jobs. As restrictive covenants prevent former employees from exercising certain freedoms, the courts impose strict guidelines for non-compete and non-solicitation agreements.
The Law Office of Patrick K. Elliott, PLLC, located in Tampa, Florida handles disputes involving non-compete and non-solicitation agreements. Combining national reach with a personalized approach, Employment Lawyer Patrick Elliott can serve as your champion in a legal battle against companies of all shapes and sizes. If you need legal help, please do not hesitate to contact today for assistance.
Understanding Non-Compete Agreements
There are many different types of restrictive covenants that may restrict a former employee from performing certain actions. The following list provides an overview of major types of restrictive covenants that might apply after an employee changes jobs.
Non-Compete:These agreements restrict formers employees from working for direct competitors of their previous employer.
Non-Solicitation of Clients:These agreements restrict former employees from poaching clients from their previous employer.
Non-Solicitation of Employees: These agreements restrict former employees from poaching colleagues from their previous employer.
There are opposing interests with any non-compete or non-solicitation agreement. On the one hand, the employer has a legitimate interest in protecting their interests, including trade secrets, customer lists, and other confidential information. On the other hand, employees have the right to certain freedoms, including the ability to change jobs or employers.
Determining Whether Your Non-Compete Agreement is Valid
In order to balance these opposing interests, the Florida courts have established strict controls on the validity of non-compete agreements. In evaluating a non-compete agreement, the Florida courts focus on the following factors:
Reasonableness:Non-compete agreements must be reasonable in time, scope and geography to be effective. Stated otherwise, non-compete agreements must be as minimally restrictive as possible.
Legitimate Business Interests: Non-compete agreements are only appropriate when the employer has a legitimate need to protect their business interests. If the employer can protect their interests through other means, the non-compete agreement may not be enforceable.
Protected Information: Non-compete agreements are rarely effective unless the restriction involves the employer’s trade secrets, client lists or similarly confidential information.
Given the nature of non-compete law in Florida, where the courts have wide latitude to determine reasonableness or legitimacy, there are few precise rules to follow. In most cases, disputes concerning non-compete and non-solicitation agreements are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Contact a Florida Non-Compete Lawyer for Legal Help
In all of the cases above, the restrictive covenant must be reasonable and minimally invasive. Otherwise, the Florida courts may declare the agreement unenforceable. If you are unsure about the terms and conditions of a restrictive covenant, it can be helpful to seek legal help from a Florida non-compete attorney.
If you are struggling to deal with a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement, Employment Lawyer Patrick Elliott can help you figure out the details and work toward a positive resolution to your case. Employment Lawyer Patrick Elliott has experience protecting workers from companies of various sizes and across multiple industries. Contact today to start working toward recovery.