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Thursday, November 2, 2017

John Morgan is pushing for a $15 minimum wage in Florida, but some employees at his companies make less

Posted By on Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 3:19 PM

Last month, Orlando attorney and likely Florida gubernatorial candidate John Morgan pledged to fork out $1 million of his own money to help campaign for a statewide $15 minimum wage, but some employees at his own companies don't even make that much.

A recent posting on the job site offers $11 an hour for a customer service/call center position at the Law Offices of Morgan & Morgan in Orlando. Another position, posted on the site, offers $12 an hour for an office runner job.

"I can tell what angle you're getting at with this story, and it's bullshit," said Morgan in a phone interview on Oct. 20 with Orlando Weekly. Morgan explained that a lot of his call center employees start out making around $25,000 a year, and that this is actually a good salary. "I bet you don't make $25,000 a year," Morgan said.

The attorney, who spent an estimated $10 million of his own loot to make medical marijuana a thing in Florida, explained in a follow-up email that employees at his law office call center can earn incentives and bonuses that often boost their wages.

"This all needs context," explained Morgan, who says the turnover rate for employees at his call center is tremendous in the first six months, but those who stick it out make an average of $35,000 a year. Morgan also says his office made a costly decision to keep their call center operations from going overseas.

It's worth noting that an hourly wage of $15 an hour is equal to roughly $31,200 a year.

As for the office runner job, whose duties involve driving the company limo, Morgan promises they also eventually make much more than the posted starting hourly rate once they're paid for mileage.

Since reaching out to Morgan, both job posts (which you can still see in the above links) have been edited to remove the hourly wage. The following screen grabs were taken Oct. 20.

click to enlarge screen_shot_2017-10-20_at_12.43.01_pm.png

"If you want to play gotcha with me," Morgan said, "a better place to look is WonderWorks where I don’t pay 15 to many to start. But I would be happy to if my competition did."

Morgan, who founded the indoor attraction back in 1995, is right when he says his theme park competitors also don't pay $15. Universal Orlando and Disney currently pay a starting minimum of $10 an hour; however, union employees at Disney are currently pushing for a $15 minimum wage.

If passed, Morgan's proposed "Living Wage" constitutional amendment would boost Florida's minimum wage to $10, and then increase it by a dollar a year until it's $15, after which minimum wage would adjust with inflation. This would be a game changer for Florida, whose current minimum wage is $8.10, but will be raised by 15 cents starting this January.

Morgan has yet to say whether he plans to boost all of his own employees to a starting base salary of $15 per hour.

However, the attorney did mention to me in an email that "bullshit" isn't a swear word (something we both agreed on), and jokingly added that I should "have a nice motherfucking weekend, motherfucker."

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