Florida Record

Friday, October 18, 2019

Federal judge says Miami-Dade County didn't discriminate when forcing retired judge to take pay cut for part-time work


By Marian Johns | Jun 26, 2019

MIAMI – A federal judge recently ruled that Flora Seff, a former Miami-Dade County judge and former assistant state's attorney, failed to show an age discrimination claim relating to Miami-Dade County's retiree rehiring policy that caused a reduction in her six-figure salary as a part-time worker.

In the June 20 filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke granted a motion for summary judgment filed by the Board of County Commissioners of Miami-Dade County in the lawsuit filed by Seff in which she alleged unlawful age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) under Title VII. 

Seff  served as assistant state's attorney from 1980-2008 and as a judge from 2008-2009. In 2011 she took a part-time position paying $127,363 a year as senior legal liaison for the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department (MDFR), from which she had to take a mandatory retirement in 2015 due to her enrollment in the Florida Retirement Pension Plan's deferred retirement option program, court filings said. 

Seff then applied for the same position in 2017, but in accordance with the Miami-Dade retiree rehiring policy, which states a retired county employee who is rehired must "start at the applicable entry-level salary," she was only paid $88,243 a year, court filings said. 

Seff argued that due to her $47,000 reduction in salary, she should be awarded compensation and claimed the rehiring policy violates the ADEA. 

Miami-Dade County argued the policy is based only on Seff's pension status and that she has not established a case of age discrimination. 

The court agreed with Miami-Dade County and said Seff "offers no statistical evidence that the county’s policy disproportionately affects older workers in a manner that violated the ADEA," court filings said.

The district court concluded that the county's policy was "non-discriminatory as to the plaintiff" and granted Miami-Dade County's motion for summary judgment. 


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