Non-Compete? Not if you’re owed money.
For whatever reason, I’ve seen quite a few clients come to me at my lately at my Miami office who signed a non-compete agreement either before or while working for their employers somewhere in the South Florida area (Miami-Dade, Broward, etc.). Some of these clients have come to me before they start working in a job that could be considered to violate the non-compete agreement, and others don’t realize that they signed one until much later. The “much later” scenario occurs when an employee sues to recover his/her wages (such as wages, overtime wages, minimum wages, or commissions), and employer turns around and responds to the lawsuit with a claim against the employee for violating the non-compete.
The law in Florida is that usually, an employer who does not pay an employee all of the wages is considered to have breached the employment agreement that contains the non-compete clause (or other restrictive covenant). By first breaching the agreement, the Courts can and ususally do relieve the employee of his non-compete or other restrictive covenant.
How this all comes into play is that sometimes, it makes sense for an employee to make a claim for unpaid or underpaid wages, commissions, overtime wages, or minimum wages – not just to recover the money, but to also be relieved of the non-compete or other restrictive covenants.