Appeals Court Strikes Down Miami Beach Minimum Wage

By: Carolyn Johnson

On December 13, the Third District Court of Appeals sided with the Florida Chamber of Commerce and struck down Miami Beach’s minimum wage ordinance. The Florida Chamber of Commerce, along with the Florida Retail Federation and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, challenged the Miami Beach ordinance soon after it was adopted in 2016.

The Miami Beach minimum wage increase attempted to usurp existing Florida wage law. The Florida Legislature in 2003 preempted minimum wage, requiring a single statewide standard. In 2004, voters approved a constitutional amendment that increased Florida’s minimum wage above the federal level. Miami Beach had attempted to mandate an increased minimum wage of $13.31 per hour by 2021 for all businesses within the city’s boundaries, citing the constitutional amendment as giving them the authority.

However, the Third District Court of Appeals ruled that the 2004 constitutional amendment did not conflict with the ability of the state to preempt minimum wage, declaring the Miami Beach ordinance invalid.

This is a victory for Florida’s business community, and serves as a proof point to other local governments that a patchwork of mandated wage regulations are against the law. Instead, the statewide minimum wage remains in effect.

The Florida Chamber encourages job creators to remain watchful of this issue. It is likely that Miami Beach will appeal this ruling to the Florida Supreme Court.

Free Markets, Not Government Mandates, Will Improve Lives of Floridians
In order to create sustainable wages, communities should invest in removing barriers and making it easier to empower entrepreneurs to grow the economic base — produce more and pay more based on markets and consumers needs. Learn more by reading the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Less Poverty, More Prosperity: Florida Fiscal Cliffs Report.