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Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 16369
Experience:  13 years experience in employment law, unions, contracts, workers comp law
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I have a 5 year non-compete agreement in the state of Florida

Customer Question

I have a 5 year non-compete agreement in the state of Florida from 2000 and I now want to work for a competitor in Kentucky. How long, in reality, must I wait before I can start working at the new job?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 2 years ago.

Hello there -


Even though your non compete has no ending date, the law in Florida will only uphold a non compete agreement if it is reasonable in time and reasonable in geographical area from where you last worked for this employer who holds the non compete. The Florida non compete case laws decided by the FL Supreme court since 2010 have consistently held that any non compete clause in a contract must be reasonable in length of time (which time period has been consistently held to about 2 years in Florida and every other state that has heard the issue) and it must be reasonable in geographical area (which has been held to be, at the most, the state where the original employer who asked you to sign the non compete is located (where you worked)). Under the circumstances that you describe I see no problems with your taking the job in Kentucky because it is out of the Florida geographical area AND the original non compete was 5 years in length which is about 3 years more than the Florida Supreme Court has held to be enforceable. While I seriously doubt that your former employer will pursue this matter if they learn you are working for the company in Kentucky, even if they do pursue it they will lose the case based upon the harshness of their non compete agreement in the first place.


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