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State employee "appropriate" pay bands

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  • State employee "appropriate" pay bands

    Do FL pay statutes for state employees like Section 110.603, FS (quote below) create a legal obligation for FL's HR department (DMS) to establish fair pay bands, similar to a minimum wage law? If so and bands are inappropriate, can a lawsuit be filed against the state for negligence of other cause of action to increase the bands to appropriate levels?

    Statute: "The department (DMS) shall adopt a classification plan and a pay plan consisting of pay bands appropriate to the positions included in the Selected Exempt Service and which provides for salary increases based on performance. Such pay bands shall be designed to attract and retain qualified personnel for the Selected Exempt Service."

    For example, suppose a FL state agency established a pay band for a group of SES medical doctors well below the expected pay band (for example $30K/year vs. $100K/year) despite the agency having the financial ability to pay market value for MD compensation. The pay band is so inappropriate the agency has an obvious problem attracting and retaining quality doctors. Are the doctors that choose to remain employed with this agency essentially just donating their time or are they legally entitled to appropriate/competitive-to-market pay as suggested by sec. 110.603?

  • #2
    "Market value" is subjective and depends greatly on location, other employers in the area, industry, etc. You would have a hard time suing because the salary could be higher. You might find a bored attorney out there willing to take such a case for the publicity or whatever, but such phrasing is standard for public sector regulations on pay. It means very little to the individual, but gives the government entity the ability to raise or lower the parameters of the salary ranges if they find they are in a budget crunch with lots of applicants or can not seem to attract applicants due to the salary offered.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.