A Miami-Dade circuit court judge has thrown out a lawsuit against the county over a popular wage-theft law intended to give workers a way to recover wages owed by employers.
Judge Lester Langer ruled Friday that it "was a responsible and reasonable exercise of governmental authority" for the county to set up quasi-judicial hearings to determine whether employers had improperly underpaid or withheld wages from workers. The Florida Retail Federation, a business group, had argued the system was unconstitutional and denied employers due process.
But Florida's Constitution allows for quasi-judicial hearings, the judge noted in his nine-page ruling, and Miami-Dade's unique Home Rule Charter gives it the power to enact a law to prevent wage theft.
The Retail Federation had led a charge during this year's legislative session to ban Miami-Dade's wage-theft ordinance, but the program survived after state Sen. Anitere Flores, a Miami Republican, ran interference in the Senate Judiciary Committee she chairs.