Commission to consider wage theft measure again


Selena Patterson takes a breakfast order from patron Dirk Drake at The Jones Eastside which has no involvement with wage theft at 401 NE 23rd Avenue in Gainesville, Fla., Thursday, March 14, 2013.

Erica Brough/Gainesville Sun
Published: Monday, March 25, 2013 at 8:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 25, 2013 at 8:18 p.m.

The Alachua County Commission will once again discuss a potential wage-theft ordinance Tuesday at its evening public hearing.

The ordinance, if enacted, would make the county a mediator in disputes over unpaid wages between workers and employers. The commission debated differing approaches to the problem earlier this month.

Meanwhile in Tallahassee, State Sen. Rob Bradley, a Republican whose district includes Alachua County, has filed the related Senate Bill 1216. The state measure would pre-empt future county wage-theft ordinances that would handle disputes through a hearing-officer method, as Miami-Dade County does, and would instead direct employees to resolve their cases through the court system.

The Alachua County Wage Theft Task Force, a local coalition, has built community support for a local ordinance in recent months. Common forms of wage theft include unpaid overtime and working only for tips.

The public hearing starts at 5 p.m. in the County Administration Building, 12 SE 1st Street.

Before its evening discussion, the commission will consider other issues at its 9 a.m. regular meeting. Items up for debate include the county's project priorities for the Florida Department of Transportation's five-year work program as well as the 30-percent design plans for the construction project for Northwest 23rd Avenue at the intersection of Fort Clarke Boulevard.

The plan, which is estimated to cost $1 million, includes extending turn lanes, widening sidewalks and upgrading the roadway lighting. Construction is expected to start in summer 2014.

Contact Morgan Watkins at 338-3104 or morgan.watkins@gvillesun.com.

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