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The Florida Senate

2006 Florida Statutes

Violation of strike prohibition; penalties.
Section 447.507, Florida Statutes 2006

447.507  Violation of strike prohibition; penalties.--

(1)  Circuit courts having jurisdiction of the parties are vested with the authority to hear and determine all actions alleging violations of s. 447.505 Suits to enjoin violations of s. 447.505 will have priority over all matters on the court's docket except other emergency matters.

(2)  If a public employee, a group of employees, an employee organization, or any officer, agent, or representative of any employee organization engages in a strike in violation of s. 447.505, either the commission or any public employer whose employees are involved or whose employees may be affected by the strike may file suit to enjoin the strike in the circuit court having proper jurisdiction and proper venue of such actions under the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and Florida Statutes. The circuit court shall conduct a hearing, with notice to the commission and to all interested parties, at the earliest practicable time. If the plaintiff makes a prima facie showing that a violation of s. 447.505 is in progress or that there is a clear, real, and present danger that such a strike is about to commence, the circuit court shall issue a temporary injunction enjoining the strike. Upon final hearing, the circuit court shall either make the injunction permanent or dissolve it.

(3)  If an injunction to enjoin a strike issued pursuant to this section is not promptly complied with, on the application of the plaintiff, the circuit court shall immediately initiate contempt proceedings against those who appear to be in violation. An employee organization found to be in contempt of court for violating an injunction against a strike shall be fined an amount deemed appropriate by the court. In determining the appropriate fine, the court shall objectively consider the extent of lost services and the particular nature and position of the employee group in violation. In no event shall the fine exceed $5,000. Each officer, agent, or representative of an employee organization found to be in contempt of court for violating an injunction against a strike shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $100 for each calendar day that the violation is in progress.

(4)  An employee organization shall be liable for any damages which might be suffered by a public employer as a result of a violation of the provisions of s. 447.505 by the employee organization or its representatives, officers, or agents. The circuit court having jurisdiction over such actions is empowered to enforce judgments against employee organizations, as defined in this part, by attachment or garnishment of union initiation fees or dues which are to be deducted or checked off by public employers. No action shall be maintained pursuant to this subsection until all proceedings which were pending before the commission at the time of the strike or which were initiated within 30 days of the strike have been finally adjudicated or otherwise disposed of. In determining the amount of damages, if any, to be awarded to the public employer, the trier of fact shall take into consideration any action or inaction by the public employer or its agents that provoked or tended to provoke the strike by the public employees. The trier of fact shall also take into consideration any damages that might have been recovered by the public employer under subparagraph (6)(a)4.

(5)  If the commission, after a hearing on notice conducted according to rules promulgated by the commission, determines that an employee has violated s. 447.505, it may order the termination of his or her employment by the public employer. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person knowingly violating the provision of said section may, subsequent to such violation, be appointed, reappointed, employed, or reemployed as a public employee, but only upon the following conditions:

(a)  Such person shall be on probation for a period of 18 months following his or her appointment, reappointment, employment, or reemployment, during which period he or she shall serve without permanent status and at the pleasure of the agency head.

(b)  His or her compensation may in no event exceed that received immediately prior to the time of the violation.

(c)  The compensation of the person may not be increased until after the expiration of 1 year from such appointment, reappointment, employment, or reemployment.

(6)(a)  If the commission determines that an employee organization has violated s. 447.505, it may:

1.  Issue cease and desist orders as necessary to ensure compliance with its order.

2.  Suspend or revoke the certification of the employee organization as the bargaining agent of such employee unit.

3.  Revoke the right of dues deduction and collection previously granted to said employee organization pursuant to s. 447.303

4.  Fine the organization up to $20,000 for each calendar day of such violation or determine the approximate cost to the public due to each calendar day of the strike and fine the organization an amount equal to such cost, notwithstanding the fact that the fine may exceed $20,000 for each such calendar day. The fines so collected shall immediately accrue to the public employer and shall be used by him or her to replace those services denied the public as a result of the strike. In determining the amount of damages, if any, to be awarded to the public employer, the commission shall take into consideration any action or inaction by the public employer or its agents that provoked, or tended to provoke, the strike by the public employees.

(b)  An organization determined to be in violation of s. 447.505 shall not be certified until 1 year from the date of final payment of any fine against it.

History.--s. 3, ch. 74-100; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 21, ch. 77-343; s. 4, ch. 79-295; s. 161, ch. 97-103; s. 39, ch. 2001-43.