While not every employed person in Florida has an official employment contract, it is not unusual for a person to be asked to sign individual contracts with very specific provisions or protections for the employer. Two types of these contracts are nondisclosure agreements and noncompete agreements.
Monster indicates that the increase in technology as a basis for so many organizations today has in part fueled the increase in reliance on these types of contracts between employers and employees. While similar, they do focus on different areas both designed to protect businesses against competitive forces. A nondisclosure agreement basically restricts what information an employee may use or share with another person or entity. A noncompete agreement limits future professional opportunities for employees.
As explained by PBS, a nondisclosure agreement may have a longer lifespan but have more limited protections. A noncompete agreement may offer broader protections but for shorter periods of time or maybe even only for certain geographical regions. There are no federal laws governing either of these types of contracts so it has been left up to individual states to enforce the terms of these contracts at their discretion.
If an employee leaves a company and looks for a job with a competitor, the reason for the move may contribute to an employer’s decision to enforce a noncompete agreement. For example, if the employee has been laid off, it may be less likely that enforcement could take place versus if the move was initiated by the employee’s desire for a new position.