As an employee or an employer, it’s essential to document your agreements and deals in writing. But simply typing up an agreement won’t suffice. You need a detailed employment contract or agreement that addresses all of the relevant issues in a clear, non-ambiguous manner. Otherwise, you could encounter problems in the event that you need to take the matter to court in the future.
At the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A., our Florida employment attorneys are here to help with all of your labor and employment law needs, from non-compete agreements (also called “restrictive employment covenants” or just “restrictive covenants”) to employment contracts and beyond.
When you turn to the Florida attorneys of the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A., you can look forward to working with a best-in-class team of employment lawyers who practice a “clients first” approach with every client and every case. We believe that this approach reduces stress, allowing for a simplified, streamlined client experience.
Contact the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A. today to discuss your legal needs in a confidential, no-cost consultation session. Call 407-422-2188.
A Look at Some of the Most Common Questions for Our Florida Employment Attorneys and Business Lawyers
What is the Purpose of an Employment Contract?
Employment contracts are essential because they outline the nature, length and terms of a working relationship. An employment contract solidifies the business relationship, allowing for greater clarity for all involved parties. If one party breaches the contract, the other party may have legal recourse (depending upon how the contract is written.)
The employment contract can also specify duties and work scope, obligations, pay rates, and severance terms.
Employment contracts should always be reviewed by your attorney as the other party and his/her lawyer will virtually always draft the contract with their own interests in mind. Those interests may conflict with what’s in your own best interest, so it’s important to ensure that your employment attorney reviews the document before you sign it. If you’re in charge of drafting the employment contract, it’s important to draft the legal document in a manner that is in line with Florida laws so that it is “enforceable” in the courts if a breach arises.
What is a Non-Compete Agreement?
Non-compete agreements or restrictive covenants are designed to prevent an employee from working for the competition and potentially divulging vital, proprietary information to a competitor. In a world where many employees and contractors work with multiple companies, an agreement not to compete is important to protect a business and the employer’s interests.
In Florida, non-compete agreements must be in writing and the employee must sign the document. The non-compete covenant must specify a “reasonable” geographic region, timeframe and specific business interests that must be protected, otherwise, you risk a document that is not enforceable in court.
It’s also wise for some clients to sign a non-compete agreement in conjunction with an employment agreement that details specifics such as minimum weekly pay rate. Otherwise, you could find yourself unable to survive if your employer were to scale back your hours or pay rate, yet you would be prevented from working for a competing company (and if your niche is very specialized, the “competition” may represent your only other potential work source). In some cases, the non-compete agreement can remain in effect for a period of time after you’ve ceased working with the company or organization in question – a fact that can complicate the situation. Therefore, it’s vital that you ensure that the contract(s) and employment agreements are written in an appropriate manner; one where you do not risk finding yourself in an impossible, no-win situation.
Are there Benefits to a Restrictive Covenant Agreement?
Non-compete agreements primarily benefit the employer, as the employee is banned from divulging company’s trade secrets and other confidential information.
Without a restrictive covenant, an employee could theoretically take a job with the competition, revealing trade secrets and client information.
What are the Disadvantages of a Non-Compete Agreement?
Current or former employees could end up in a scenario where they’ve stopped working for Company A, but as a result of a poorly-written restrictive covenant, they’re banned from getting a job with a competitor for a period of time (which can range from weeks to months or even years.)
Another example: It’s common to include a clause that prevents you from contacting a company’s clients once you stop working for the company. But let’s say you’re a businesswoman who decides to bring your clients to your new company. In drafting the non-compete agreement, you fail to include a clause that allows you to maintain contact with clients that you brought to the business relationship. If this occurs, you could be banned from communicating with your clients if you were to sever your business relationship with the company.
These are just a couple of issues that can arise. It’s important that an attorney reviews a restrictive employment covenant or another employment contract to ensure your interests are protected.
Can I Use Generic Employment Agreements or Non-Compete Forms?
The web is home to many generic employment contracts and agreements, but these are very general forms, and they may not necessarily be in line with Florida law. Furthermore, they may not really address your unique needs and concerns. A poorly written contract or agreement can be worse than having no agreement at all, so it’s best to consult a Florida employment lawyer who can, at minimum, review your document before signing.
Hire a World-Class Team of Florida Attorneys to Handle Your Business Contracts and Employment Law Needs
Our elite team of Orlando business lawyers and employment law attorneys can assist with all of your legal needs, from drafting a new employment contract, to reviewing an agreement not to compete and drafting custom contracts to suit your unique needs.
The Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A.’s unique “clients first” approach places you and your needs above all other issues, so you can rest assured that you have an experienced and committed team guarding your interests and the interests of your business.
Contact the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A. to arrange a fully confidential case consultation session by calling 407-422-2188.