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Orlando Law Firm Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Florida Department Of Education

Attorney Ryan Morgan and Plaintiff Christopher AlianielloPhoto: Abe Aboraya
Attorney Ryan Morgan and Plaintiff Christopher AlianielloPhoto: Abe Aboraya

Orlando law firm Morgan and Morgan argued that the Department of Education violated a state law awarding bonuses to teachers who met certain criteria under the Best and Brightest program. 

The Department of Education allowed school districts to reduce the bonuses paid to teachers to account for employer taxes.

Orange County teacher, Christopher Alianiello, met these criteria but noticed he was not paid the full amount the statute promised.

“I mean initially, of course, I want to get the money that was owed to me. But I do also want to make sure that the tens or hundreds of thousands of teachers across Florida get their fair share of what is essentially an unfair bonus.”

Ryan Morgan, of Morgan and Morgan, said taking the taxes out means teachers were paid less than the amount in law. 

“It would be like if you worked for a company they say we’re gonna pay you $20 an hour. Then you get your first paycheck and it really says $18, you’re like well what happened to that $2?”

Morgan estimated teachers have been shorted $25-30 million based on public information.

The Florida Department of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment.