Legislative Session Ends Without Action on Judges' Pay

10 May, 2019 Nancy Grover

                               

Tallahassee, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) - Despite apparent agreement on all sides, Florida’s 31 workers’ compensation judges won’t see their pay ramped up this year. The 60-day legislative session ended without action on a proposal to make the salaries of judges in Florida’s Office of Judges of Compensation Claims on a par with those of other judges in the state. Senate Bill 780 was approved in the panel’s Judiciary Committee in March but never went any farther.

The salaries had been tied to those of Florida’s Circuit Court judges until reforms were enacted in 1994. With the removal of the ‘tie-in’ provision, the pay gap has widened. Circuit Court judges now make $160,688, while workers’ compensation judges are paid $124,564. Additionally, retirement benefits are lower for workers’ compensation judges who receive pensions based on 2-percent of their salaries rather than the 3-percent other judges receive.

The result has been fewer applicants for workers’ compensation judgeships. That has led to periods with long vacant judgeships.

Advocates have said the short time frame of the legislative session likely resulted in lawmakers focusing on other priorities.


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    About The Author

    • Nancy Grover

      Nancy Grover is a freelance writer having recently retired as the Director, Media Services for WorkersCompensation.com. She comes to our company with more than 35 years as a broadcast journalist and communications consultant. Grover’s specialties include insurance, workers’ compensation, financial services, substance abuse, healthcare and disability. For 12 years she served as the Program Chair of the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo. A journalism/speech graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, Grover also holds an MBA from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

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