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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

DBR Recognizes WSH as One of the Ten Most Diverse Law Firms in South Florida

On January 23, the Daily Business Review released the names of the 25 most diverse law firms in South Florida.  This year, WSH was named the 10th most diverse firm, coming ahead of large law firms such as Greenberg Traurig, Akerman Senterfitt, and Becker & Poliakoff. 

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Categories: Awards & Recognitions
Tags: Awards & RecognitionsDaniel L. AbbottLillian M. ArangoSara E. AulisioMitchell A. BiermanNina L. BoniskeGary L. BrownMitchell J. BurnsteinJonathan CohenJamie A. ColeJeffrey DeCarloIgnacio G. Del ValleBrooke P. DolaraRaquel ElejabarrietaChad S. FriedmanAlan L. GabrielDouglas R. GonzalesEdward G. GuedesStephen J. HelfmanEric P. HockmanHarlene Silvern KennedyJoshua D. KrutKathryn M. MehaffeyAleida Martinez MolinaAlexander L. Palenzuela-MauriGilberto PastorizaMatthew J. PearlMichael S. PopokTimothy M. RavichAnthony L. RecioAmy J. SantiagoBrett J. SchneiderClifford A. SchulmanDaniel A. SeigelGail D. SerotaJoseph H. SerotaJonathan C. ShamresEstrellita S. SibilaAlison F. SmithAnthony C. SorokaEduardo M. SotoJoanna D. ThomsonSusan L. TrevarthenPeter D. WaldmanRichard Jay WeissLaura K. WendellJames E. WhiteDavid M. WolpinSamuel I. ZeskindFort 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 LawMiami Aviation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Airport LawSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysMiami Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Public Transactions LawFort Lauderdale Public Transactions LawMiami Public Transactions Law Matthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysScope of the Project RuleFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysFort Lauderdale Real Estate AttorneysMiami Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Real Estate AttorneysMiami Commercial Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysRobert MeyersAdrian J. AlvarezAlternative Dispute ResolutionJohanna M. LundgrenFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Construction LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Real Estate LawyerFort Lauderdale Tax AttorneyMiami Construction LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Eminent Domain AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneyMiami Real Estate LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Citing Religious Freedom, Supreme Court Backs Church In Discriminatory Discharge Case

On January 11, the United States Supreme Court held for the first time that federal discrimination laws do not protect church employees who perform religious duties. In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2012 WL 75047 (Jan. 11, 2007), the Court recognized that the “ministerial exception” under the First Amendment protects religious institutions from discriminatory discharge where the former employee qualifies as a “minister.” Although the term “minister” is not strictly defined, the term may apply to those who conduct worship or serve as a messenger or teacher of faith.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew 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 AttorneysFirst AmendmentFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth 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

Important Changes to Florida's Unemployment Compensation Laws

On June 27, 2011, Governor Rick Scott signed new legislation amending Florida’s unemployment compensation law.  As we reported in our August 26 blog post, the new laws significantly expand the definition of employee misconduct.  The amendments also have important consequences for employee severance pay.

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Categories: Labor and Employment
Tags: Brett J. SchneiderAlison F. SmithUnemployment CompensationEmployee MisconductSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law Attorneys
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Alison F. Smith

NLRB Changes Procedures to Speed Up Union Elections; Employer-Friendly Organizations Respond With Lawsuit

On December 21, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) published a new Rule that will change the procedures for private sector union representation elections.  The Rule, which will take effect on April 30, 2012, shortens the time period between the initial filing of the election petition and the election, unless the parties stipulate to the election date. As a result, the Rule eliminates pre-suit challenges to NLRB rulings such as the appropriate bargaining unit and which workers are eligible to vote in an election.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationGovernment Affairs
Tags: Employment AgreementsGovernmental LitigationJamie 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 Attorneys
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Website Is An "Outstanding Achievement"

The Interactive Media Association (“IMA”) has awarded Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske, P.L.’s website with an Outstanding Achievement Award, acknowledging its design as one of the three best law firm website designs for 2011.

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Categories: Awards & Recognitions
Tags: Awards & RecognitionsMitchell A. BiermanNina L. BoniskeMitchell J. BurnsteinJamie A. ColeStephen J. HelfmanGilberto PastorizaMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaSusan L. TrevarthenRichard 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 LawMiami Aviation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Airport LawSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysMiami Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Public Transactions LawFort Lauderdale Public Transactions LawMiami Public Transactions Law Fort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysFort Lauderdale Real Estate AttorneysMiami Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Real Estate AttorneysMiami Commercial Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law Attorneys
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Robert Meyers, Former Executive Director of Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, Named Of Counsel at WSH

This week, Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske, P.L. announced the addition of attorney Robert Meyers to our Municipal Government, Governmental Litigation and Special Counsel to Local Government Practice Areas. Robert will be Of Counsel to the firm, and will concentrate his practice on governmental ethics. Robert is the immediate past Executive Director of the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust. During his thirteen year tenure as Director, he authored hundreds of ethical opinions tackling State, county and municipal ethics codes. Robert also assisted in the drafting of model ethics codes and amendments to existing ethics codes in Miami-Dade County and other local governments. Robert often publishes and lectures on topics of ethics and government leadership.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentAwards & Recognitions
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentEthicsSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentFlorida League of CitiesFlorida City Government WeekAwards & RecognitionsMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderGail D. SerotaRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort 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 AttorneysMatthew 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 AttorneysRobert Meyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Law Firm Alliance Selects WSHPC&B As Sole South Florida Representative

Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske, P.L. is proud to have been selected as a member of the Law Firm Alliance, an elite coalition of law firms made up of 60 plus firms and 1500 attorneys throughout the Americas and parts of Europe. The Law Firm Alliance is a loose affiliation of law firms created to provide “competent and responsive” legal services to clients by providing a network of reputable member firms for referral of legal matters. Membership is by invitation only and limited to one firm by geographic area, so inclusion in the Alliance is highly coveted by premier firms. We are thrilled to be the sole South Florida representative in the Alliance. For more information on the Law Firm Alliance, click here.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationBankruptcy & Creditors’ RightsGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentAirports and AviationAwards & RecognitionsConstruction LawReal Estate
Tags: Awards & RecognitionsMitchell A. BiermanGary L. BrownJonathan CohenJamie A. ColeJeffrey DeCarloChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesAleida Martinez MolinaGilberto PastorizaMichael S. PopokTimothy M. RavichClifford A. SchulmanJoseph H. SerotaSusan L. TrevarthenRichard 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 LawMiami Aviation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Airport LawSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysMiami Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Public Transactions LawFort Lauderdale Public Transactions LawMiami Public Transactions Law Matthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysFort Lauderdale Real Estate AttorneysMiami Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Real Estate AttorneysMiami Commercial Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law Attorneys
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara