We successfully represented a consortium of business groups in a lawsuit against the City of Miami Beach, convincing a court to overturn the City’s unilaterally imposed minimum wage ordinance introduced in 2016. On behalf of the Florida Retail Federation, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, among others, we argued to the Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County that state law prevents individual municipalities from venturing out on their own to establish minimum wage rates at odds with the statewide rate. A Circuit Court judge handed employers a complete victory in a March 27, 2017 order, striking down the Miami minimum wage ordinance and plainly stating that local jurisdictions have no right to take such actions. By claiming victory in this case, Fisher Phillips attorneys Charles Caulkins and Jim Polkinghorn (both partners in our Ft. Lauderdale office), with the assistance of Candice Pinares-Baez, safeguarded businesses from having to pay exorbitant wage rates in Miami, but also erected a shield for employers across the state, as this decision should prevent other Florida municipalities from taking similar action.
In a case that lasted over a decade, we represented a local school board against a tenured teacher who challenged her termination under the Tennessee Tenured Teacher Act. In 2005, the tenured teacher requested a hearing after the school board recommended her termination for unsatisfactory job performance. Under the Tenure Act, a board “shall” hold the tenure hearing within 30 days, but in this case no hearing was held for almost a year. When the hearing occurred, the school board upheld the termination. The teacher then filed a chancery court complaint challenging the decision. Specifically, she argued that her termination was invalid because the hearing was not held within 30 days as required by the Tenure Act. The chancery court upheld the school board’s termination decision. The teacher appealed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, which upheld the termination but granted the teacher back pay due to the untimeliness of the tenure hearing. Both parties filed writs of certiorari to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which were granted.