Fla. Judge Rules Public Employee Pay Cut Unconstitutional

March 7, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A Florida Circuit Court judge ruled the decision to cut public employee salaries by 3% was an unconstitutional breach of the state’s contract and ordered the money be returned with interest.  

According to The Miami Herald, Judge Jackie Fulford said the Legislature’s decision to cut public employee salaries without renegotiating their contracts, was an “unconstitutional taking of private property without full compensation.” This violated the rights of public employees “to collectively bargain over conditions of employment.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott and Republican legislative leaders cut salaries by 3%, eliminated the cost of living adjustments (COLAs) and shifted savings into the general revenue fund to offset the state’s contribution to employees’ retirement accounts. The news report states the change saved the state $1 billion and local governments $600 million during the 2011 legislative session. 

Scott says the state will appeal the decision.

See “FL Judge Challenges State Pension Contribution Change”