Password encrypted computers, locked file drawers, swipe cards allowing for restricted access. These are all measures taken by businesses to protect their confidential business information and trade secrets. While these steps are important, they are only part of the solution in protecting your company's valuable business information. More and more employers today are using restrictive covenants such as noncompete agreements and confidentiality agreements to legally bind their employees and ensure that valuable business information is not compromised or handed over to a competitor.
Disfavored and often prohibited outright by the common law, noncompete agreements are making a resurgence as states throughout the country enact laws designed to protect employers' legitimate business interests. Florida is a prime example, having put into place a statutory scheme setting forth in detail the requirements necessary to enforce noncompete agreements against former employees. To be enforceable, not only must a noncompete agreement be reasonable in time and geographic scope, it must protect a legitimate business interest and protect information the employer has tried to keep confidential.
Armed with the right knowledge and properly drafted agreements, an employer can prevent departing employees from taking confidential business information and using that information to compete unfairly against a former employer. Gone are the days when an employee could defiantly state "My noncompete isn't worth the paper it's written on!"
At the 18th Annual Akerman Labor & Employment Law Seminar, I will be discussing all aspects of noncompete and confidentiality agreements, including drafting tips and how these agreements can be used to protect confidential business information. I will also focus on the process of enforcing noncompete agreements, from the initial filings all the way through to a court judgment.