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Mandatory Contribution by Public Employees of 3% Earnings to FRS Declared Unconstitutional

In a long awaited opinion, Judge Jackie Fulford issued a decision on March 6, 2012, in which shedeclared unconstitutional a requirement that government employees in Florida contribute 3% of their earnings to a state retirement fund (i.e., the Florida Retirement System). Judge Fulford wrote in her opinion that the Legislature committed “an unconstitutional impairment of plaintiff’s contract with the State of Florida, an unconstitutional taking of private property without full compensation, and an abridgement of the rights of public employees to collectively bargain over conditions of employment.” This ruling could cost the state more than $1 billion a year. The ruling does not impact the 3% contribution to the state retirement fund from employees hired after July 1, 2011, when the law went into place.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationConstitutional LawContracts
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersCollective BargainingGovernmental LitigationSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentFlorida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeRaquel ElejabarrietaEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFlorida LegislatureMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Raquel Elejabarrieta

Florida Employers Take Note....Eleventh Circuit Holds Pre-Eligibility Notice of Post-Eligibility Leave Is Protected Activity Under FMLA

In a case of first impression, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (the “Court”) has held that the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) protects employees’ pre-eligibility requests for post-eligibility leave. The case, Pereda v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc., ---- F. 3d -----, 2012 WL 43271 (11th Cir. Jan. 10, 2012), should provide guidance to Florida employers dealing with the question of whether an employee is engaging in “protected activity” under the FMLA.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal LawFederal Courts
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsFamily Medical Leave ActProtected ActivityFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Successfully Defends Golden Beach in Labor Arbitration

Last week, WSH obtained a significant arbitration victory for the Town of Golden Beach in a case involving a former police officer who was terminated for sleeping on the job.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentContractsAlternative Dispute Resolution
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanBrett J. SchneiderAlison F. SmithRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysAlternative Dispute ResolutionFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Changes to Florida Statutes Place Greater Restrictions on Public Employee Bonuses and Severance Pay

On June 17, 2011, Governor Scott signed Senate Bill 88 (the “Bill”) into law, which amends Section 215.425, Florida Statutes, in two material ways. As summarized below, the Bill contains significant restrictions on bonuses and severance pay for public employees.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentGovernment AffairsLocal Government
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersSenate Bill 88Mitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeRaquel ElejabarrietaChad S. FriedmanBrett J. SchneiderRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation Lawyers
Author(s): Raquel Elejabarrieta

PERC Victory for WSHPC&B Attorneys Brett J. Schneider and Raquel Elejabarrieta

The Florida Public Employees Relations Commission ("PERC") issued a Final Order yesterday dismissing an International Union of Painters and Allied Trades' unfair labor practice charge against the City of Deerfield Beach. Brett J. Schneider and Raquel Elejabarrieta represented the City in the unfair labor practice proceeding before PERC.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLocal Government
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentRaquel ElejabarrietaBrett J. Schneider
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

Brett J. Schneider and Raquel Elejabarrieta Win Arbitration For City Of Deerfield Beach

On August 2, the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission issued a Final Order in favor of the City of Deerfield Beach in a claim filed against the City by a former City mechanic alleging that his layoff from city employment violated state veterans' preference law. Brett J. Schneider and Raquel Elejabarrieta represented the City in this matter. The Commission upheld the Hearing Officer's recommendations on procedural and substantive issues, all of which were favorable to the City.

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Categories: Labor and Employment
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersCollective BargainingRaquel ElejabarrietaBrett J. Schneider
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

New Bonus And Severance Pay Restrictions For Public Employees Starts Now

On June 17, 2011, the Governor signed Senate Bill 88, which limits the amount of severance and/or bonus a governmental entity may provide to a contractual employee. The law explicitly provides that no extra compensation shall be made to any officer, agent, employee or contractor after service has been rendered or a contract entered into unless the compensation is allowed by a law enacted by two-thirds of both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate. Although contracts entered into before July 1, 2011 are grandfathered, municipalities, counties and other units of government in Florida will be required to comply with the new restrictions limiting the availability of bonuses and severance pay for contractual employees.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentGovernment AffairsLocal Government
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersSenate Bill 88Mitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeRaquel ElejabarrietaChad S. FriedmanBrett J. SchneiderRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

WSHPC&B Wins Arbitration Victory For Public Employer

On June 29, 2011, our Firm obtained a significant arbitration victory for the City of Lauderhill in a labor dispute with AFSCME Local 2942. Brett J. Schneider and Alison F. Smith successfully defended the City against claims that the City violated its collective bargaining agreement when it laid off several employees without honoring their right to "bump" (replace) employees in the same classification with less seniority. In his decision, the arbitrator stated that the evidence showed that the City acted in good faith and was faithful to its contractual responsibilities under the agreement.

Click here to read the Opinion & Final Award.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentGovernment AffairsLocal Government
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingBrett J. SchneiderAlison F. SmithFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara