Employees who report illegal or unethical acts perpetrated by their employers are protected by the Florida Whistleblower Act. The Act protects private and public sector employees from being retaliated against or terminated by their employers for reporting these acts. Florida has two whistleblower statutes. One to protect public employees and another to protect employees in the private sector.
Private Sector Employees
Employees who disclose or threaten to disclose, an activity, policy, or practice of the employer that is in violation of a law, rule, or regulation, are protected from retaliation. The improper practice or policy does not have to be related to the employee’s business with the employer. In some cases, employees are required to provide written notice and an opportunity for the employer to correct the matter before they disclose it.
Public Sector Employees
The Whistleblower Act affords protection to public sector employees who disclose information regarding suspected violations of law or rule that create a “substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare.” Public sector employees are also protected if they disclose information about “any act or suspected act of gross mismanagement, malfeasance, gross waste of public funds, suspected or actual Medicaid fraud or abuse, or gross neglect of duty.” Public sector employees who have experienced an adverse employment action must file a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations within 60 days of the adverse action.
Protections in Whistleblower Cases
Under the whistleblower statutes, it is illegal to retaliate against an employee who discloses information. Examples of retaliation can include:
- Reduction in salary
- Reduction in benefits
- Disciplinary action
Remedies Available in Whistleblower Cases
Once you file a claim under the whistleblower statutes, you could be entitled to remedies and damages that include:
- Reinstatement to your position or an equivalent job
- Reinstatement of seniority rights and benefits
- Compensation for lost benefits and wages
- Compensation for any wages you could have earned in the future
- Compensation for any job search, healthcare, and related costs that resulted from the termination
- Attorney’s fees
Contact a Florida Whistleblower Attorney
If you believe you’ve been terminated from your job for disclosing information about your employer, you may have a whistleblower claim. At Gregg M. Goldfarb, LLP, we can evaluate your case for free. Contact us online or call us at (305) 374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.