Not All Non-Competes are Created Equal: Make Sure Yours are Enforceable

By: Scott Knapp, Esq.

In today’s unsettled economic and regulatory landscape, health care organizations should zealously protect their workforce and proprietary information. To that end, a well-crafted non-compete agreement can serve as one of an entity’s most important assets. If drafted and applied appropriately, a non-compete provision can restrict departing employees from pirating and using or disclosing a company’s proprietary materials and information, such as marketing techniques, specialized training methods, business plans, referral sources, and corporate goodwill. In order to effectively use such a powerful tool, it is critical that health care providers understand the scope and limitations of restrictive covenants under the current law.

Simply requiring all employees to sign boiler-plate agreements is often insufficient. Under Florida law, non-compete provisions are presumptively enforceable, but such provisions do have limits. A non-compete agreement’s restrictions must be reasonable in its terms of scope, geographic boundaries, and time. The law allows a court in many circumstances to “blue-pencil” the agreement and adjust its terms to make it more reasonable and fair if the terms of the agreement are too broad.

Please click here to view the full article in South Florida Hospital News.

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