In recent years, there has been a concerted nationwide push to reevaluate the enforceability of non-compete agreements in the US. Just this year, the Federal Trade Commission proposed a ban on non-competes, and the National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel published a memo arguing that they violate the National Labor Relations Act.
The push isn’t just happening at the federal level, either. Several states have already moved to ban or limit the enforceability of non-competes, including:
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- Virginia, and
So, where does this trend leave employers in Florida? Are non-competes still enforceable in the Sunshine State?
The short answer is yes. Broadly speaking, a non-compete agreement is fully enforceable in the state of Florida as long as it contains the following elements:
- The Business Interest: Non-competes are only valid if they contain a description of the legitimate business interest they are protecting.
- Duration: In Florida, non-competes can generally be enforced for up to two years.
- Geographic Scope: The non-compete must define the geographic area where it can be enforced. This area must be reasonable.
- Consideration: The employer must give the employee something of value in exchange for signing the non-compete agreement.
- Reasonable Restrictions: Non-compete agreements cannot impose an undue hardship on the employee. All restrictions must be reasonable.
Finally, in order for a non-compete agreement to be enforceable in the state of Florida, it cannot cause harm to the public.
The Future of Non-Compete Agreements in Florida
As mentioned at the top of this article, the FTC has proposed a ban on non-competes in the US. The future of these agreements in Florida, and across the nation, depends on the commission’s final decision.
It’s possible that the FTC will move to ban non-competes nationwide. However, it’s also possible that it will instead decide to limit their scope or enforceability.
If the FTC goes down either of these routes, the enforceability of non-competes in Florida will be lessened.
Of course, it’s also possible that the commission will vote to maintain the status quo. Should this occur, the law surrounding non-competes in the Sunshine State is likely to go unchanged.
The FTC is currently reviewing public comments on the matter and is widely expected to publish its initial determination in April or May of 2024.
Experienced Business Lawyers in Jupiter, Florida
Do you want to make sure your company is prepared for the FTC’s decision and changes in non-compete law? Please contact the experienced business attorneys at The Frazer Firm at (561) 295-1551 or schedule a consultation. We are closely monitoring this situation, and are ready to help you prepare for any eventuality.
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