7 things you need to know about Florida’s private whistleblower law
Florida’s Private Sector Whistleblowing Act, FS §§448.101-448.105, prohibits employers from taking adverse employment action against an employee because the employee objected or refused to participate in any employer activity, policy, or practice. , which is a violation of a law, rule or regulation.
1. Persons covered: An “employer” under the Florida Private Whistleblower Law means any individual, business, partnership, institution, corporation, or private association that employs 10 or more people. An “employee” means any person who performs services for an employer in exchange for wages or other remuneration, but It is not include an independent contractor.
2. Statute of limitations: The limitations of the law for filing a Florida private whistleblower case are two (2) years after discovery that the alleged personal retaliatory action was taken, or within four (4) years after the action was taken personal, whatever before.
3. Administrative exhaustion: There is no requirement that you exhaust your administrative resources; an employee can file a complaint with the court. In other words, you don’t need to file a discrimination charge with the EEOC or the Florida Human Relations Commission to file a Florida Private Whistleblower Law case. Therefore, it is not necessary to wait at least 180 days before beginning the litigation process, unlike a case filed under Title VII or the Florida Civil Rights Law.
4. Remedies: If you are successful in your Florida Private Whistleblower Law case, the court may order: (1) a court order restricting continued violation of the law, (2) reinstatement of the employee in the same position he held prior to the personal retaliatory action, or a quart equivalent position, (3) reinstatement of full fringe benefits and seniority rights, (4) compensation for lost wages and other compensation, or (5) any other compensation for damages it is allowed by law.
5. Attorney fees: A court may award reasonable attorneys’ fees, court costs, and expenses to the prevailing party in a Florida Private Whistleblower Law case, which means the employee may have to pay the employer’s attorney’s fees, if prevailing. or not.
6. Written notice: To be protected under the Whistleblower Act for filing a complaint with an outside agency, an employee must first disclose, in writing, the illegal act to the employer.
7. Testify as a witness: An employee is protected under the Whistleblower Act for testifying or acting as a witness under a subpoena related to an alleged illegal act of the employer.