Miami-Dade County Commissioner Natacha Seijas, a strong supporter of the Miami-Dade county wage theft ordinance approved in February 2010, proclaimed Nov. 18 as a Day Against Wage Theft. This month, fellow Republican state Rep. Tom Goodson of Titusville filed a bill that would preempt any local wage theft ordinance. The bill says federal and state laws already protect workers and employers against wage theft.

On the day, the county ordinance was approved, the South Florida Wage Theft Task Force posted the following comment:

“This legislation will provide justice for exploited workers using a streamlined hearing examiner process, at very little cost to our county,” said Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners member Natacha Seijas, the measure’s principal sponsor. “I am very pleased that every colleague present today voted in favor of this Ordinance.”

The commissioner’s office did not respond today to Florida Independent calls to ask about her position on Goodson’s bill.

The county’s wage theft ordinance states that “eliminating underpayment or nonpayment of wages earned serves the public purpose by promoting economic security and dignity for those working in the County.”

According to the legislative text, the ordinance also helps promote business and economic development by eliminating unfair economic competition “by unscrupulous businesses that do not pay or that underpay their employees.”

The Florida Retail Federation, which worked with Goodson to develop the bill, filed a constitutional challenge against the county’s wage theft ordinance to prohibit its enforcement.

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