Rachel Lyne, A Duval County Attorney
Practicing Florida Whistleblower Claims
Employees are protected from termination for opposing any activity, policy, or practice of the Employer, if the practice is a violation of a law, rule, or regulation.
If you were terminated for whistleblowing, call now!
WHAT IS WHISTLEBLOWING?
Florida Statute Chapter 448.102 is Florida's Private Sector Whistleblower Claim:
Under Chapter 448.102, the law prohibits an employer from discharging an employee because the employee has:
(1) "Disclosed, or threatened to disclose, to any appropriate governmental agency, under oath, in writing, an activity, policy, or practice of the employer that is in violation of a law, rule, or regulation."In order the this chapter to apply, the employee must put the employer on notice of "the activity, policy, or practice to the the attention of the subpervisor or the employer." This notice must be in writing to trigger the statute. The employee must give the employer a "reasonable opportunity to correct the activity, policy, or practice."
(2) "Provided information to, or testified before, any appropriate governmental agency, person, entity conducting an investigation, hearing,o rinquiry into an alleged violation of a law, rule or regulation by the employer."
(3) "Objected to, or refused to participate in, any activity, policy, or practice of the employer which is in violation of a law, rule, or regulation."
Chapter 448.103 allows the employe to bring a civil lawsuit in a Florida court, if there is violation of Chapter 448.102:
(1)(a) If an employee was terminated as a result of a retaliatory action in violation of the act, the employee may begin a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for relief within two (2) years after discoverying that the discharge was a retalitory action or within four (4) years ater the retaliatory discharge occured, whichever is earlier.
(b) The civil action may be brought in the county in which the alleged retaliatory personnel action occurred, in which the employee resides, or in which the employer has its principal place of business.
(c) An employee may not recover in any action brought pursuant to subsection one (1), if he or she failed to notify the employer about the illegal activity, policy, or practice as required by s.448.102(1) or if the retaliatory personnel action was predicated upon a ground other than the employee's exercise of a right protected by the act.
Florida Statute Chapter 448.102 also provides a remedy for the terminated employee:
(2) In any action brought pursuant to subsection (1), the court may order relief as follows:
(a) An injunction restraining continued violation of this act.
(b) Reinstatement of the employee to the same position held before the retaliatory personnel action, or to an equivalent position.
(c) Reinstatement of full fringe benefits and seniority rights.
(d) Compensation for lost wages, benefits, and other remuneration.
(e) Any other compensatory damages allowable at law.