State Law Barring Local Minimum Wage Ordinances Stands After Florida Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal

February 6, 2019

The Florida Supreme Court declined yesterday to hear the City of Miami Beach’s appeal of a lower court’s decision upholding a Florida law barring local minimum wage ordinances.  As a result, Florida cities and other local governments within the state may not adopt ordinances that raise the minimum wage higher than the Florida minimum wage, which currently is higher than the federal minimum wage.

The issue stems from Miami Beach’s minimum wage law, adopted in 2017, which raised the mandatory citywide wage to $13.31 by 2021.  A Miami-Dade circuit court judge struck down the minimum wage law, ruling that the ordinance was preempted by state law. The city appealed, and the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s ruling.  The city sought review by the Florida Supreme Court.

Miami Beach’s attorneys argued that the Florida constitutional amendment establishing a state minimum wage does not preclude local governments from passing ordinances to establish a higher minimum wage for their respective jurisdictions.  The Florida Supreme Court declined to review the matter.

Florida’s minimum wage, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, increased to $8.46 on January 1, 2019.  The state’s minimum wage increases (or stays flat) every year effective January 1st based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for the South region.

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