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Court Strikes Down Miami Beach’s New Minimum Wage Law


On March 28th, 2017, a Miami-Dade County circuit court struck down a Miami Beach city ordinance that was set to raise the jurisdiction’s minimum wage. According to reporting from the Miami Herald, the law was invalidated by Judge Peter Lopez, who agreed with officials from the state of Florida and a coalition of Miami-area businesses that the law would hurt local companies. Business groups, particularly retail and restaurant companies, which would have been most affected by the law, celebrated the ruling, while labor organizations expressed disappointment and promised to appeal the case all the way to the Supreme Court of Florida. Here, our West Palm Beach business law attorneys discuss the ruling and the importance of labor law compliance.

What You Need to Know About the Decision

The Miami Beach Minimum Wage Law

As of January 1st, 2017, the minimum wage in Florida is $8.10 per hour. In accordance with a 2004 state constitutional amendment, that figure automatically adjusts every year to account for any changes in the average cost-of-living. In June of 2016, the city of Miami Beach passed a local law which would raise their minimum wage to $10.31 on January 1st, 2018 and then to $13.31 in January of 2021.

Why the Judge Struck the Law Down

According to Judge Lopez, Miami Beach’s minimum wage law violates a 2003 Florida state statute that preempts local governments from setting their own minimum wage policy. Preemption refers to the concept that a higher legal authority can restrict the power of a lower authority. For example, in some cases, a federal law can preempt a state law. In other cases, a state law will preempt a local law. Under Florida’s wage preemption law, local governments are allowed to pass ‘living wage ordinances’ that apply to city contractors, but not minimum wage laws that apply to all businesses that operate within the area.

The Importance of Employment Law Compliance

All Florida businesses must ensure that their company is in full compliance with all relevant labor regulations. Your company may be affected by federal, state and even local employment laws. Labor issues have been a hot button political issue over the last several years, and there have been many changes, as well as some attempted changes that have been tied up in the courts. Our firm always stays up to date with the latest developments. If your company has any questions or concerns about labor issues, or relations with employees, we can help. Remember, if your company fails to comply with an employment law statute, your company risks facing legal liability. Financial penalties can be stiff, even if the noncompliance was entirely unintentional.

Request Your Free Initial Consultation Today

If you business is in need of legal assistance, we can help. At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our South Florida business law attorneys have extensive experience handling labor law compliance issues. To learn more about what our team can do to help your company, please call our West Palm Beach office today at 561-291-8298 or our new Miami office at 305-985-5281.



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