Thank you for your reply and I apologize for not getting back to you sooner but I was away from my office. I will be in and out today, but if you need to clarify by answer, I will get back to you always as soon as I can.
In any event, not sure how this got identified as California. Too bad it wasn't, since California laws make non-compete agreements unlawful. Not so for Florida. That said, no courts really like non-competes but they will enforce them if they are written in a manner that the court believes is reasonable in light of the circumstances. That means no one but a court can make that decision. An attorney with all of the facts from both sides can usually hazard
a good guess what a particular court might decide, but never with certainty. Ultimately, unless the parties can agree on a negotiated compromise, the issue would be settled in the court.This would happen either by the employee's attorney filing a petition to have the non-compete declared unenforceable or by the employer filing an injunction and suit for breach of the non-compete.
The court will look at what legitimate business interests the employer is protecting and if the agreement is narrow enough so that the employee can still make a living in their profession without harming the employer. They will look at what exactly is proscribed, what the geography is, how long the non-compete is applicable, and what the employee did for the employer and proposes to do for the new employer.
You might want to read the information at the following link as it is a good description of the issues in Florida:http://www.flacorplaw.com/Non-Competes.html
If the employer believes you are violating the non-compete then, as mentioned, they can file an injunction to stop your employment and also file suit. If your attorney, after reviewing your non-compete thinks it is unenforceable, then they usually will file the petition I spoke of above. So, your best step is to right now take your non-compete to a local employment law attorney and have them review it in light of what you want to do and see if they can either negotiate an out for you with your employer or file the petition, so that you are on the offensive rather than defense.
Please feel free to ask for clarification.