What Do the Cases Say?
Although no reported Florida decisions discuss the application of Section 542.335 to restrictions involving real estate sales associates, decisions from other states have reached differing results, especially where the facts are variable.
Some decisions have flatly enforced such restrictions; others have declined to uphold them (e.g., Rector-Phillips-Morse, Inc. vs. Vroman, 489 S.W.2d 1 (Ark. 1973) refused to enforce restriction where no evidence of attempted use of employer’s confidential information).
Welles vs. O’Connell, 183 A.2d 287 (Conn. 1962) upheld covenant not to compete within town for two years); Dalrymple vs. Hagood, 271 S.E.2d 149 (Ga. 1980) (upheld covenant not to compete in same county for three years); Vander Werf vs. Zunica Realty Co., 208 N.E.2d 74 (Ill. App. 1965) (refused to enforce covenant not to compete for two years within five miles of employer’s offices where no trade secrets involved and no client enticement occurred); Blackwell vs. E.M. Helides, Jr., Inc., 331 N.E.2d 54 (Mass. 1975) (upheld covenant not to compete for three years in multiple towns where employee had access to files with confidential information on properties not available to public); Steinfeld vs. Hausen, 40 N.Y.S.2d 683 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1943) (upheld covenant not to compete for one year within 20 square blocks from employer’s office).