Proposed Bill Would Ban Non-Competes for Florida Doctors
In the past, IT workers and highly paid CEOs and other executives were the only ones ordered to sign non-compete agreements. Nowadays, virtually any type of worker can be subject to such an agreement. Even traditionally low-paying jobs in fast food and retail are subject to them. Hair stylists, janitors, journalists, and those in the medical profession may also be ordered to sign a non-compete agreement.
That may change soon for doctors. It was recently reported that a proposed bill would eliminate non-compete agreements for physicians in Florida.
This change is necessary, given the state of Florida’s healthcare situation. By 2035, Florida is expected to be short by nearly 18,000 doctors. The Florida Hospital Association said that’s because more people are moving to the Sunshine State. Not only is the population growing, but it is also getting older. People tend to need more medical care as they get older, so it’s important to keep doctors in the state.
Rep. Joel Rudman, (R) Navarre, is hoping to address this situation with this proposed bill. He is hoping to eliminate non-competes for good. Rudman is also a physician, so he understands the situation that doctors in Florida deal with. Many doctors are forced to sign contracts limiting where they can practice if they decide to quit their job. This means they are pretty much stuck in their jobs or they will have to relocate. Depending on the clause in their contract, they will have to move to another part of the state or outside of the state altogether. This is especially true in the panhandle. If a doctor is unhappy with their current position, their non-compete clause will essentially force them to move out of state.
Florida put limits on some restrictive contracts in 2019, but the bill under consideration would eliminate noncompetes. There is a similar bill in the Senate, according to the report.
State lawmakers are expected to make health care a top priority when they return to Tallahassee in January for the 2024 legislative session. One proposal would address Florida’s doctor shortage by getting rid of restrictions on where they can practice.
Rep. Rudman said changing the status quo would be difficult, and he’s expecting a fight from health networks across the state.”
“Hospitals aren’t going to like this bill. Corporate medicine, they aren’t going to like this bill. There are some large physician groups that will fight me on this bill,” Rep. Rudman said.
Florida already put some limits on restrictive covenants in 2019, but this proposal would go further. “It is inherently unfair how the system is set up,” Rep. Rudman said.
A similar bill is also filed in the Florida Senate. Other states, including Alabama, have similar laws in place.
The 2024 legislative session will begin on January 9.
Learn More About Non-Compete Agreements
While businesses do sometimes need employees to sign agreements regarding competition, not everyone needs one. Limiting a person’s employment opportunities is not in their best interest and can lead to
Seek legal help from Orlando non-compete agreements lawyer B.F. Godfrey from Godfrey Legal. Not every attorney has the hands-on experience or the extensive background that we bring to the table. Schedule a consultation today by calling (407) 890-0023 or filling out the online form.