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Total Articles: 8

Florida Supreme Court Extends Reach of Noncompetes in Health Care Industry

Home health service referrals can be a legitimate business interest protected under a noncompetition agreement, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled. The finding strengthens the hand of Sunshine State employers that seek to protect their businesses from departing employees looking to aid a competitor.

eLABORate: Florida Supreme Court Endorses Employer's Right to Protect Industry-Specific Business Interests with Restrictive Covenants

Florida permits employers to enforce non-compete and non-solictation agreements (restrictive covenants) as exceptions to a general prohibition on restraints of trade, so long as the restrictions fall within the parameters of Florida Statute 542.335. Among other limitations, the statute permits enforcement of restrictive covenants only so long as they protect “legitimate business interests.” The statute provides a non-exhaustive list of examples of “legitimate business interests,” but lower courts in Florida have diverged over whether information that an employer contends is a “legitimate business interest” is included within the scope of that definition when it is not among the statute’s listed examples. The Florida Supreme Court recently shed new light on this topic.

Non-Compete News - Florida Supreme Court Holds Referral Sources Are Legitimate Business Interests Under Florida's Non-Compete Statute

Executive Summary: On Thursday, September 14, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court held that referral sources can be valid legitimate business interests under Florida’s non-compete statute, potentially warranting enforcement of a restrictive covenant/non-compete agreement. In determining whether referral sources can be legitimate business interests, the Court closely analyzed the statute’s plain language and engaged in a fact- and industry-specific inquiry.

Florida Federal Court Raises the Bar on Irreparable Injury

Businesses seeking injunctive relief to enforce non-competition agreements in Florida might be required to show the confidential information they seek to protect is neither unnecessary nor outdated, according to a recent ruling in Transunion Risk and Alternative Data Solutions, Inc. v. Challa, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166346, Case No. 9:15-cv-91049 (S.D. Fla. March 23, 2016).

Are Referral Sources Protectable Under Florida Law?

The question of whether referral sources constitute legitimate, protectable business interests under Florida's Covenants Against Unfair Competition statute, Fla. Stat. § 542.335 (2014), is likely heading to the Florida Supreme Court to be decided, following two conflicting decisions by separate appellate courts as 2015 came to a close.

Florida Appellate Court Rules Former Customers Are Not a Legitimate Business Interests

A recent case from Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals underlines the importance for employers to provide a sufficient legitimate business interest to justify enforcement of a non-compete agreement. Where a former employee or contractor is interfering with client relationships, the employer must be careful to point out specific prospective or existing clients when enforcing a non-compete agreement.

Federal Standard for Enjoining Breach of Non-Compete Agreement Differs from Florida’s, Eleventh Circuit Rules

Federal courts must balance the potential harm to the former employee with the threatened injury to the party seeking to enforce a non-competition agreement when deciding whether to grant an injunction enforcing the agreement, a federal appeals court in Atlanta has ruled, possibly changing how courts evaluate restrictive covenants in employment agreements in Florida.

Time Flies—and Noncompete Agreement Goes Out the Window.

Here’s a common situation: You have an employment agreement with your employee in which the parties agree to a specific length of employment. The agreement also contains a noncompete and/or a nonsolicitation agreement which states that the employee will not compete with you or solicit your customers for a certain period of time that runs from the “termination of the employment agreement.”