One of Florida’s most controversial and vibrant chefs has found a new employment home, but not after she was nearly thrown in jail for violating an employment contract. The woman, Domenica Macchia, has been hired to work at a South Tampa establishment, but she faced some employment law resistance before she was able to land her new job.
Official reports show that the woman will be working at Datz Dough in South Tampa, even though she had originally signed on with Primi Ristorante, a business in St. Petersburg. The woman was unable to stay with the Primi team because of a non-compete agreement she had signed with a previous employer. As a result, Macchia is prohibited from working in Pinellas County establishments for several more months. Primi owners thought the injunction had been lifted, but Macchia was nearly arrested and sued after her former employers found out about her newest pursuits.
Even as Primi’s owners worked to negotiate the woman’s previous employee contract, she accepted new employment at Datz Dough.
Workers throughout Florida industries are subject to non-compete agreements for a variety of reasons. These agreements, while bothersome, are designed to prevent workers from gleaning proprietary knowledge at an establishment and then taking that information to a competitor. These agreements are legally acceptable and binding, and they are used to protect businesses from otherwise unscrupulous employees.
Sadly, in this case, the woman was nearly faced with legal action because she might not have fully understood the ramification of her non-compete agreement. Even though she was able to find work in another location, her career trajectory has been altered by the employment contract. Workers who are unsure about the implications of their employment agreements should consider reviewing these documents with qualified attorneys. This way, both parties can avoid unexpected legal problems and concerns, ensuring that the employee’s rights are properly protected.
www.tampabay.com, “Chef Domenica Macchia heading to Tampa’s Datz Dough” Laura Reiley, Sep. 25, 2013