Employment agreements offer employees greater rights within the employment relationship and often dictate an employee’s rights to severance and other compensation upon termination. It is vital that the employee’s interests are considered and provided for in any such agreement. Accordingly, we often become involved in the negotiation and drafting process with our clients to ensure their interests are well represented. Additionally, upon termination, we offer representation to ensure that a client’s contractually ordained rights are fully protected and provided for in any term of severance.
Commonly Asked Questions
Although Florida is considered an “at will” employment State, a legal employment contract between an employer and an employee or a union and an employer is a legal and binding contract which will define specific terms such as: the term of employment between the two parties. Employment contracts may also address employment termination (causes), salary, benefits, vacation, leave, severance,and other matters regarding employment.
A non-compete Agreement is a document given to the employee stating that the employee will not leave the company, work for a competitor, or start his/her own business for a period of time outlined in the document. The law requires that non-compete agreements be reasonable in terms of geographic scope and their duration. In addition, a non-compete agreement must be supported by a legitimate business interest which is an expression interpreted by the courts based on specific facts in cases.
Of course, it’s preferable to not have a non-compete agreement at all. Failing that, you should try and limit it as much as possible in geographic scope and duration. Limit it narrowly to the area the employer is really concerned about you working in - not the whole industry or line of work.
If you violate an executed non-compete your former employer may choose to do nothing. On the other hand, the employer may sue you and go to court seeking what is called an "injunction" or restraining order to prevent you from violating your agreement. Because violation of a non-compete agreement can cause an employer immediate harm, the court will often use expedited procedures in these cases. Once your employer requests an injunction or restraining order it may only be a matter of days or weeks before you have a hearing scheduled before a judge. You may have very little time to retain an attorney and discuss your case with that person, so make sure that you enlist the help of an experienced employment lawyer as soon as you believe you may be in violation of the non-compete agreement.
Creating and enforcing an employment contract in Florida is a delicate matter and it’s wise to consult with an employment contract attorney to ensure that your contract is legally binding and doesn’t contain language that can render it invalid. In order for an employment contract to be enforceable, an employment contract must specify a length of time. There are other requirements that counsel will go over with you at the time of service. Remember, breach of contract actions can be enforceable in Florida by both the employer and employee.
This document prohibits an employee the right to recruit other employees and/or to convert the employer’s customers away to another company.
Specifically because of concern with the vagueness of oral statements or implications, employers will sometimes have an employee sign an at-will contract to remove any gray area from the relationship.
This provision disallows an employee to either give proprietary or confidential information obtained from the company to another party or to use them for their own purposes.