Miami Beach takes minimum wage fight to Florida Supreme Court


  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
Miami Beach wants the Florida Supreme Court to take up a battle about whether the city can move forward with a local minimum wage.

The city this week filed a notice that it is appealing a Dec. 13 decision by the 3rd District Court of Appeal that rejected the local minimum wage, which was approved in 2016 and was slated to take effect in 2018.

Opponents, including the Florida Retail Federation, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, filed a lawsuit against the city, contending that local governments do not have the legal authority to set their own minimum wages.

The case, in part, focused on a 2004 constitutional amendment that created a higher minimum wage in Florida than the federal minimum wage. Miami Beach argued that the constitutional amendment also allowed it to set a different minimum wage.

But the 3rd District Court of Appeal said an earlier state law prevented local governments from setting minimum wages and that the constitutional amendment did not change that “preemption” law.

The notice filed this week in the Supreme Court does not detail the city's legal positions.

The ordinance approved last year by the Miami Beach City Commission set a minimum wage of $10.31 an hour to take effect in 2018, with the wage going up $1 a year to $13.31 on Jan. 1, 2021. That is higher than the statewide minimum wage, which is $8.10 this year and will go to $8.25 on Monday.