Wednesday, 13 December 2017 16:22

Florida Business Community Celebrates Victory in Minimum Wage Lawsuit Appeal

For Immediate Release: December 13, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

The 3rd District Court of Appeals ruled today in favor of three of Florida’s major business associations – Florida Retail Federation, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce – who filed a lawsuit challenging a minimum wage ordinance passed by City of Miami Beach

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation, Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association all celebrated today’s ruling by the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Miami which affirmed a lower court’s ruling invalidating the minimum wage ordinance recently adopted by the City of Miami Beach. The circuit ruling was appealed by the City in March and the ruling denying that appeal was announced earlier today. The three leading business associations originally filed the suit against the ordinance proposing to raise the minimum wage in spite of a state preemption, because it was not valid under section 218.077 F.S. which preempts local minimum wages. Charles Caulkins, James Polkinghorn and Candice Pinares-Baez of the South Florida law firm Fisher Philips LLP represented the business associations in this case.

“This victory today in the district court of appeals is also a victory for businesses,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO. “This ruling sets a precedent for all municipalities discouraging them from passing local ordinances which are in direct violation of state law while also negatively impacting their local businesses. FRF and our coalition partners will continue to protect all Florida businesses against any rules or regulations that may impact their ability to be successful.”

“We applaud the court for siding with job creation and against additional government mandates, and for siding with Floridians looking for jobs and small businesses who are creating them. If communities are serious about creating opportunities for higher wages, they should invest in removing barriers to empower entrepreneurs to grow the economic base – produce more and pay more – based on markets and consumer needs,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“We applaud the court’s decision, which should send a message to local governments around the state that, however well intended, each level of government has its limitations on their authority,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

In December 2016, the City of Miami Beach passed a city ordinance raising the minimum wage to $10.31/hour starting January 1, 2018, and increasing it $1.00/year until it reaches $13.31 in 2021. FRF and its coalition partners argued that the ordinance disregarded a state statute which established the State of Florida will determine one consistent minimum wage for the entire state. This state statute allows for local government entities to adopt ordinances to exceed this wage for those working or contracting with the local government. FRF and the business coalition successfully won that lawsuit in March due to a ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The City of Miami Beach then filed an appeal in December 2016 with the 3rd District Court of Appeals who announced its decision today in favor of the coalition.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year as the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers are responsible for one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year. In fact, more than three out of four of Florida’s budget dollars come from retail-related activity.

About the Florida CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

About the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
FRLA is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Our mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s $108.8 billion hospitality industry which represents 1.4 million employees - making it the state’s number one industry. We offer regulatory compliance and food safety training needs (RCS and SafeStaff®); industry developed career-building high school programs (FRLAEF); sponsor the only event in Florida exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry (FR&L Show, September 10-12, 2017 in Orlando); and we safeguard the needs of the hospitality industry by providing legislative advocacy. We represent and serve more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to www.FRLA.org and find us on Twitter @FRLAnews, Facebook and YouTube.

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