Previously, we reported that Floridians would be given a choice on the November election ballot to increase the state’s minimum wage from $8.56 per hour
Sam J. Smith practices complex class, collective action, and multiparty litigation in the fields of wage and hour law, employment discrimination, public accommodations, and civil rights. Sam is a Florida native, born in Miami in 1959.
Sam has litigated class and collective actions for more than 30 years, and acted as lead or co-lead counsel in over 50 certified and putative class and collective actions under the FLSA, EPA, the WARN Act, and Title VII.
Sam has received a Foot Soldier Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and an Outstanding Service in Public Accommodations Law award from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs for work in public accommodations He was recognized by the Trial Lawyer’s for Public Justice for work on a race discrimination class action. Sam has received several additional prestigious recognitions during his legal career, such as being named a Florida Super Lawyer every year since 2009; a member of the Florida Legal Elite (2010); a member of the Best Lawyers in America for the specialty of Labor and Employment Law since 2009; the Best Lawyers 2012 Tampa Employment Law – Individuals “Lawyer of the Year”; and the Best Lawyers 2018-2021 St. Petersburg, Litigation – Labor and Employment Law “Lawyer of the Year.”
Sam has been a member of various professional labor and employment associations and has authored or edited various publications on labor and employment law, including acting as a senior editor and contributing author of the treatise, The Fair Labor Standards Act, for over ten years. In 2010, along with a management attorney, Sam was responsible for drafting and editing Chapter 19, Collective Actions, and Chapter 20, “Hybrid FLSA/State Law Actions,” of The Fair Labor Standards Act. These chapters provided a comprehensive review and analysis of collective actions under the FLSA and class actions under state wage & hour laws.
Sam has also have served as the Employee Co-Chair of the FLSA Subcommittee of the American Bar Association from 2004 to 2007 and the Employee Co-Chair of the Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee from 2007 to 2010.
Sam is a member of the Wage and Hour Committee of the National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”) and has served as the Committee’s Legislation Liaison. Sam lobbied Congress and helped draft changes to the Motor Carrier Act Exemption to the FLSA.
Sam regularly makes presentations to the ABA, Florida Bar, National Employment Lawyers Association, Florida NELA, and local bar associations. Sam has been asked to train law clerks for the Middle District of Florida in wage & hour law.
Sam has significant experience developing complex damage models in class actions and working with experts in damages, statistical analysis, and industrial psychology.
Outside the office, Sam enjoys working out, cycling, and playing tennis and golf.