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John Morgan’s Minimum-Wage Hypocrisy

November 8, 2017 - 6:00am
John Morgan
John Morgan

There’s a chink in Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan’s reputation as Florida’s champion for the $15 minimum wage.

The Democratic "maybe candidate" for governor, despite energetically using the hot-button “Fight for 15” campaign issue as a major rallying cry, apparently isn’t putting his money where his mouth is. 

As multiple job-posting websites attest, some of his own employees’ paychecks fall short of $15 an hour.

What happened to the resolve of the man who said last Jan. 13, “Minimum wage in America is a joke. You can’t live on $7 or $8 an hour ...”?

Jobs listed for Morgan & Morgan in Orlando on, include, for example, an “office runner” salaried at $12 an hour. Another site,, offered call center positions for the Morgan firm at $11 an hour. 

When Orlando Weekly confronted Morgan with this discovery, he hit the roof – with expletives omitted here. 

“I can tell what angle you're getting at with this story," said Morgan in the phone interview. “I bet you don't make $25,000 a year." He also said Morgan & Morgan employees have other means of earning, such as bonuses. 

Orlando Weekly has screen caps with the salaries listed in the original job postings, but since the interview with Morgan, those wages no longer are included in the ads.

“This all needs context,” he said, explaining the lower-paid jobs entail often entry-level duties, and there is high turnover in the early stages of employment.

Morgan tried to bolster his contradiction by noting his offices should be praised because they did not ship these cellar positions overseas. It's a frequent point made when the debate comes up that, should Florida boost the current minimum wage by more than 75 percent, many of these types of jobs will move offshore. 

But there are other indicators that, for Morgan, this is not about supplying “living wages” but is instead a political ploy he wants his name attached to, for vote acquisition. 

This past summer, while discussing his latest initiative (Morgan was also the catalyst of the medical marijuana constitutional amendment), the lawyer was touting a wage hike to $14 an hour. 

Why the moving figure within his pet issue? As it turns out, political expediency is more important than a “proper” hourly wage. Morgan has to work two sides of the political spectrum to achieve the goal of attaching his name to the cause.

As Politico notes, "Democrats would love the amendment on the ballot next year because, as Morgan said, this will 'juice turnout' by appealing to a broad swath of Florida’s teeming masses of service-sector workers."

At the same time Morgan cannot take that dollar figure too high, or he risks missing the ballot entirely. He is initiating polling right now to help him determine the dollar amount that will earn the widest segment of voter support. He needs more than 766,000 petition signatures for the "Living Wage" issue to appear on that ballot, then net 60 percent voter support. That makes it a matter of voter comfort over humanitarian largesse.

This public relations maneuvering displays pure political ploy, one intended to bolster Morgan’s name for his bid for higher office. The fact that he does not actively participate in the minimum wage threshold at the moment only underscores where the priority rests as far as workers’ needs are concerned. Too bad it flies under the radar.

Brad Slager is a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer who wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the entertainment industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.


I remember when we heard about Morgan, Collin and Gilbert. The man has been "ambulance chasing" for many years on radio, TV and Billboards. He is one of the reasons there are so many jokes about attorneys. Just my opinion.

As a republican female who (1) disagrees with boosts to minimum wage and (2) disagrees with a lot of JM's platforms, I will never stop working for John Morgan and his firm. I've never had a boss care so much for people, both his employees and others. There's been a many a company trip, lunches, dinners, and fridays where I've found $100 on my desk to "enjoy the weekend" (as he did for the other hundreds of M&M employees). He's a stand-up damn good guy, and no political platform is going to change that.

So "slip and Fall" is wildly profitable, gee who knew? If this pettifogger ever gets into the governership, god help us, the wealth redistribution will commence full throttle and I guarantee within a decade, Florida will be "forced" to collect a state income tax upon its citizens. So you will work for him knowing full well he leeches of the backs of businesses and citizens for personal profit. I hope you hold your nose when you walk in the door to work. mean Wannbe candidate for gov......Maybe candidate for gov....WILL never happen for Johnny the Ambulance Chaser..He tried the Weed Game to see how many he figured would back him for gov...That Fell he trying wage hike game & Now Flopped cause he seen that NOT going to work either...If you was as Smart as He thinks ..He would realize He is A Democrat & that what want get him a Win...He is OUT NUMBERED..on what a REAL Governor does.. mean Wannbe candidate for gov......Maybe candidate for gov....WILL never happen for Johnny the Ambulance Chaser..He tried the Weed Game to see how many he figured would back him for gov...That Fell he trying wage hike game & Now Flopped cause he seen that NOT going to work either...If you was as Smart as He thinks ..He would realize He is A Democrat & that what want get him a Win...He is OUT NUMBERED..on what a REAL Governor does..

Clearly you have a personal beef with Morgan. And clearly you don't work for minimum wage. If you did, you would say; thank God Morgan is at least talking about this issue. Nobody else is. I work 5 days a week, part time, at a big box store and take home about $180 a week. (And I just got my 2018 increase in Obamacare. From $460 per month to $715 per month) Do the math. Maybe, instead of tearing people down, you should help fight for the people that are preparing your meals, parking your cars, delivering your Amazon orders, stocking your shelves, helping you prepare for your Hurricanes(!).... and everything else you take for granted. You may ask yourself. Am I the hypocrite? Signed A Florida Conservative (That's right. Conservative.)

Well, you're FINALLY "learning" my friend: All about "pay for work", "Obamacare" and a little bit about "economics"... BUT, absolutely nothing about Morgan (as a potential gubernatorial candidate // HEAVEN FORBID !) signed:// A Florida Democrat (That's right, a recovering Democrat)

Maybe I'm not learning. I have no idea what you just said. (It may be a punctuation thing)

"For the People" . . .named Morgan.

Morgan can get more support by example. Talk is cheap.

"example"? bring it, we would sure like to see it.

Morgan & Morgan "For the Morgans...." typical democrat talking out of both sides of his mouth

Talks out of both ends of the alimentary canal.

Silly peasants, one set of rules for The We, yet another for The Mere Thee! Forward! Long live the Demshevik insurrection!

I was screwed by his attorney firm, being coerced into agreeing to a real crappy settlement on an accident which left me with lifelong injuries. I admit that I was stupid for agreeing but, at the time, money was tight and I couldn't continue taking off work just to meet with one of the staff attorneys. His ads are full of crap as he never met with me and, neither did his wife, or sons.

The smart and just thing to do is do $15/hr from say $11/hr to start raising it $.75/yr until it gets to $15/hr. ...................Then let it rise with inflation....................... Workers do all the work and get a reasonable living wage to do it..................They have produced huge productivity gains yet they not only didn't get their share of them, they lost income................... And it was clearly caused by repubs/Bush in 2000-2008 giving huge tax cuts to the rich, corporations just like now again transferring the middle, lower class wealth to them, driving the debt up massively from a Dem $250B surplus to a $1.1T deficit in just 8 yrs, ended up nearly bankrupting the world and throwing it into a worldwide depression it is only now coming out of, again thanks to Obama who saved our butts.......................It was repubs that let all the illegals in for cheap labor to drive YOUR wages down and worked very well, No?.....................Yet under Obama stopped corporations from hiring them and immigration reversed and Obama deported more than Trump has and Obama did just the worst ones....................... But because Trump is arresting everyone they find the courts are now clogged, deporting fewer and leaving more criminals in the US because of it.......................... Keep voting repub and we'll soon be completely bankrupt, repubs goal to make government so weak it can't stop corporations, rich from ripping people off................... Progressives are not the enemy, big corporations, .1%, are that control the repub party.

You obviously are not a business many way can you cut that pie? A newbee is hired at $15per hr. How long do you think your senior employees will stay? You jump them up to $20 per hour. Businesses must make a profit or go work for someone else.

Minimum wage is nothing more than an accounting line item for large scale employers. If profits for the month are down, they simply scale back hours and take the money directly from the pocket of their employees. It's a moveable expense. Always hitting the financial goal. I agree that small business works under a different set of pressures. Perhaps that can be addressed. But make no mistake. A low minimum wage is the favorite child of Wall Street and management. (Lets not even begin to discuss the opportunity for advancement for low wage workers. There is next to none. A years worth of employment is often rewarded by a .30 per hour raise.

I'm pretty sure you are describing "Obamacare".

He's a lawyer,.. they are duplicitous, they equivocate, they use deception, they lie.....(WHAT part of that don't you understand Mr. Slager ?... But I'll bet a lot of "minimum wage morons" would vote for him; and he is counting on that... And YOU can "count on it too"!) THAT'S exactly the type of 'sleight of hand' that "fattens up" the "Champion of medical marijuana"; and it's ALL self-serving drivel...

People who make minimum wage are morons? Far from it Mr. Scrooge. I know many of them. By your note, you must also mean that the 71% of Floridians who voted for Medical Marijuana are morons too. I'm curious. Who's not a moron to you? (Oh. And you have some spelling and punctuation errors in your note btw. It's kind of hard to read.)

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