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Florida Whistleblower Laws

It is illegal to fire or otherwise retaliate against an employee who reports the illegal or unethical acts of an employer. Florida, like other states, have so-called "whistleblower" laws to protect employees.

In Florida both private and public employees are protected from such retaliation under the Florida Whistleblower's Act. Workers in Florida may sue for back pay, back and full benefits, and lost wages, in addition to other damages claimed in a suit.

Private Employees and the Whistle-blower's Act

Private employees wishing to claim protection under this law must meet the following six (6) criteria. The employee must have:

  1. Disclosed or threatened to disclose to an agency under oath and in writing;
  2. An activity, policy, or practice of his or her employer;
  3. That was in violation of a law, rule, or regulation;
  4. That the employer retaliated against his or her because of the disclosure or threat to disclose;
  5. He or she had given written notice to the employer of its activity, policy, or practice;
  6. Thereby giving the employer reasonable opportunity to correct the activity, policy, or practice.

Learn more about Florida whistleblower laws in the table and links below. See Whistleblower Retaliation Could Land You in Trouble for more details.

Code Section 112.3187
Prohibited Employer Activity Can not dismiss, discipline, or other adverse personnel action against employee for disclosing information of any violation or suspected violation of law or regulation or act by independent contractor which creates a substantial and specific danger to the public's health, safety, and welfare or act of gross management malfeasance, gross public waste of funds or gross neglect of duty unless information known by employee to be false
Protection for Public or Private Employees? Both
Opportunity for Employer to Correct? -
Remedies If employee of state agency: file complaint after pursuing administrative remedy or civil action within 180 days after receipt of notice of investigation termination. If local public employee: have 60 days after violation to file complaint with appropriate local government authority. Then can bring civil action within 180 days after final decision of local governmental authority, or 180 days after violation if authority hasn't an administrative procedure by ordinance or contract. Any other person: after exhausting all available contractual or administrative remedies may bring civil action within 180 days after violation. Relief: reinstatement, back and full benefits, lost wages, reasonable costs, injunction, temporary reinstatement
Penalties -

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Florida labor attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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